I'm obviously going to have to give up smoking women

Who was it that decided the best way to read a news headline was to emphasise the very last word in the sentence, regardless of its importance? Am I the only person who feels like I’m being treated in a patronising way by the newsreader? (You can’t understand this unless I make it really clear.)

Aside from being really annoying, it can actually change the implied meaning of the story. These examples from Sky News this morning:

“A woman infected by swine flu has died in Scotland” – delivered in such a way as to imply that the real tragedy here is that the poor woman couldn’t have been moved to a more civilised part of Britain before her death.

Better still:

“Researchers have found that men are much more likely to die of cancer than women” – what, really? Men are more likely to die of women? That is an alarming statistic indeed…

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