Sunday, 19 October 2008

Declining Media Standards

I'm sure anyone who watches the tv news, listens to the radio news, or reads the newspapers will agree that the quality of the country's journalists and reporters has long been declining.

While I don't think New Zealand broadcasters need to return to the "RP" British Broadcasting Corporation voices of old, it would be nice to hear a little more diction and correct pronunciation of words and phrases in our news broadcasts.

Former National/ACT/Labour advertising and marketing guru John Ansell has posted about his frustration at Mike Hosking's inability to pronounce the word anemone the other night on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He also picks out the word vulnerable as one of his 'Most Mispronounced Words in English'.

I agree, and would add to that list Police (not P'lice), tonnes (when someone mean tonnes and not the imperial measure of tons), and Women (when they are referring to more than one female).

Apart from plain old mispronunciation, basic spelling, grammar skills, and punctuation skills are noticeably absent from the country's newsrooms these days. Add to that the growing acceptance of lazy speech... Gunna, Comin' an' Goin', Wullington (our nation's capital), and Muwk (the stuff that comes from cows).

I see some people at John's blog have already commented about my pet peeves, the mispronunciation of "ing" (Tony Veitch was one of the worst for this) - as in fisheen, yachteen and raceen - as well as the painful everythink, somethink, and anythink!!

* John Ansell - Is anemone an enemy?
* Hat tip: Homepaddock

Buy Lynne Truss's excellent book,
Eats, Shoots & Leaves:
The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

here now, through Amazon UK or USA...


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