Wednesday, June 18, 2008

4 - 1 = H5N1

It's not only ATV News's English that is suspect; their mathematics may need a brush-up as well. On tonight's 7:30 news they translated a Chinese farmer's words as, "Sales went down by a quarter. I sold only 100 ducks when I usually sell 400."

That is not going down by a quarter, that is going down to a quarter. If his sales went down by a quarter, he would be selling 300. It's just as well his sales didn't fall by 90%, or ATV would have had an opportunity to misuse the word "decimate" - though in fairness, most of the population of Britain gets that one wrong too.

So if ATV is so bad, why don't I watch TVB news instead? Mainly because I find them too parochial - TVB usually leads on a domestic story and has less adequate coverage of major international events.

No comments: