Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bog Otter - That Means You, Ann, or Your Ancestors

Someone should tell ATV's newsreaders that the name of China's currency is not pronounced as "You Ann". They should also be told that, while there may be such a creature as the "bog otter", it is not the name of Colombia's capital.

Or perhaps they were trying to say "begotter", which brings us neatly to another media mistake. British scandal sheet (newspaper would be too polite a word for it), The Sun, in between plugging a Tory election victory that would no doubt benefit its owner Rupert Murdoch's already bulging coffers, found space on its website a couple of days ago for a headline saying "ANCESTOR of Alice Hawkins, jailed for role in suffragettes, meets women who won’t vote". When you click through to the actual story, it turns out to be about a young woman whose great great grandmother was jailed five times for her activities in the suffragette movement that eventually won British women the vote. Last time I looked, that would make her a descendant, not an ancestor, but a knowledge of the English language has always been less highly regarded at The Sun than the ability to come up with the most excruciating puns in headlines.

Of course, Hong Kong women - and men - are still waiting for full universal suffrage, but that's another story.