Friday, October 21, 2011

British Broadcasting Miscorporation

What's up with the BBC these days? From a time when "BBC English" indicated the highest standards of grammar and punctuation, it seems to have declined to a point where not even its headlines get properly proofread. Here are some random examples of scrambled English found on the BBC News website today:

Ohio animal Terry Thompson owner shot himself - police

The uprising that eventually overthrew him started in Libya's February 2011 in second city Benghazi,

Another story spells skis as skies and minuscule as miniscule (the word comes from the same root as minus, not miniature).

Has the BBC's budget been cut to the point where correct English is no longer affordable!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fanning the Flames

Does anyone in Hong Kong really believe Rita Fan's claim that she knows little of what happened in Beijing in June 1989? Asked about the Tiananmen massacre, she said she was in Hawaii at the time and only knew what she saw on CNN. But considering that CNN was giving an almost literally blow-by-blow account of the events as they happened, does Fan really think she would have learned more if she had been watching CCTV? Furthermore, as a member of China's parliament (I do not say a representative of Hong Kong to it, since Hong Kong people have no say in who supposedly "represents" them), is it plausible that she has not bothered to acquaint herself with the details of one of the pivotal events of modern Chinese history?

All this would be academic if Fan were not a probable candidate for the post of next Chief Executive of Hong Kong. But since she is, do we want to be led by a woman who appears more concerned with not contradicting Beijing's official line on the massacre - sorry, "unfortunate incident" - of June 4th 1989 than with finding out the truth? Or, if we accept her story, by a woman who can't be bothered to do her political homework? Either way, I think not.