Monday, October 22, 2007

dear editor

Reading Bermuda's newspaper the first time I got here on the island, caused me to do a double take. There are a couple of newspapers on the island and one is reputed to be better than the other. I won't say which one but anyway, the one that I was reading - there was a spelling error. Hmm, that's a first, I thought. I shrugged it off thinking that the writer/editor was probably having a bad day. Until a couple of days later, when I came across another spelling error, on another day. And then another one error on another page, on the same day! What is going on? This is unheard of.

You know how when you're in high school, no matter where, teachers ask you to look an at article from the newspaper & critique it for an assignment? I'm sure everyone has been given this assignment at some point in their high school years. For me, this was in Dubai and the one newspaper that consistenly met our teachers' standard was Canada's Globe and Mail. We had more articles to critique from the Globe that we did from the NY Times. Once I arrived here in Canada I was so proud that the Globe was Canadian. Sure everyone's heard of Terry Fox but to hear about the Globe on a consistent basis on the other side of the world - that's monumental for the Globe, whether they're aware of it or not. I started to read the Globe daily and I was addicted. In fact, I still am. They have the very best writers on their staff and their writing style coupled with wit is something I can only hope to aspire to. Someday. It truly is a paper to be looked up to. But even so, there are other newspapers out there.
We also looked at the Times of India & the Telegraph, during our critique session. My point it that newspapers are the ones that get it right. It isn't just about who, what, where, when & why, it's more than that. It's scentence structure, vocabulary and most importantly we look to it for new words, how they were spelled & what context they were used in. If you want to better your English, read the newspaper, they say.

And so Bermuda shocked me! A spelling error in a newspaper? Well, if the newspaper can't get it right, then seriously, there's nothing more to report.

7 comments:

bermudabluez said...

Hi there! I've found your blog through Jessica and am so pleased as you have a very interesting site! I just adore Bermuda...it's one of my own personal paradises on earth. It is so very beautiful there. Just thought I'd say hi from NY!

claytonia vices said...

Found your blog through Celine's Fugue.

You had looked at Times of India in the critique session? You mean, they actually have a spell-checked international edition?? Kidding aside, I fell that right now The Hindu seems to be one newspaper which still maintains good language. Unfortunately I haven't read much of the Telegraph...

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

Welcome Bermudabluez and Hello right back. I had no idea I was listed on 'Jessica's' Blog until I checked my visitor stats.

Hello Claytonia Vices and welcome!
Yes we did look at the Times but maybe once, but this was about 12 or 15 years ago. Thanks for the heads up on The Hindu!

indicaspecies said...

I agree it feels good to read from newspapers who have editors/writers that have mastered the use of language. However, I'd look beyond that in a news article.

I'd also check if the newspaper has a reputation for accurate and "free from bias" reporting of facts. Until I do my own research on the facts from various sources (newspapers and/or otherwise), I would not want to believe completely in an article published in a single newspaper, and this is especially so when it comes to controversial issues.

I'd like to know what are your views on my comments. :)

richard said...

Bermuda uses uk English, not the bastardised (not bastardized) version used in north America. e.g. the mould at cedarbridge is spelt the uk "mould", not the American mold. colour not color, centre not center etc

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

IS: I do agree with what you have say. No form of Media is completely objective (except maybe the BBC). ;)
When we did look at articles in high school it was more to disect for the purpose of improving our language skills. We didn't really pay attention to what the media was trying to say in this case. The Media has known to sensationalise events for their own gain. It is upto us to not get caught up in their web of propoganda. Thanks for the comment!
For example here in Bermuda, the news papers portray only one aspect of political happenings. While I do read up on whats happening from time to time, my preferred medium of getting a true sense of whats happening are the political blogs by Bermuda's very own, that gives me an insight I'd not normally be privy to.

Richard! Good to see you! I totaly agree. I am trying to mend my bastardized ways in the battle of 's' & 'z'. Getting back to using analysed instead of analyzed etc...I have written about the butchering of the English language before in my previous posts. Although I am proud to say I still spell COLOUR the way it was meant to be spelled!

indicaspecies said...

Thank you. I understand.

Am glad you are 'digging' to learn the facts. :)