WHY COULDN'T HE JUST SAY THAT THE SHOW LACKED THE THIRD HEAT? I didn't post the LA Times story about 30 Rock because the point of the story was how it was on the bubble, and it hit my doorstep about 30 minutes before NBC announced the the show's renewal. My inner pedant wouldn't let it go, though, so I write to point out a pair of malapropisms in Martin Miller's story.
First, he says that 30 Rock suffers from "Nielsenitis." The suffix "-itis" denotes an inflammation. 30 Rock, I assure you, does not suffer from inflamed Nielsen ratings. I think "Nielsenemia," though technically gibberish, would have conveyed the idea better.
Second, he says that the "half-life of shows continues to shrink." The only context in which one should use "half-life" is when referring to something that doesn't have a measurable end point, like radioactive material that will keep emitting radiation (in exponentially smaller doses) forever. If something can die or be cancelled, why not just say "life"?
I realize that Miller is a professional writer and that a blogger correcting him is kind of like Tracy Jordan schooling Twofer on the difference between "well" and "good," but let's let Sam Zell actually take possession of the rag before we throw the standards out the window, okay?