Monkey business

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Words are weapons.

They harm, they damage, they destroy.

They have meaning.

Together with knowledge they power and underpin debate.

Two examples of words and their impact.

First, absence of certain words.

On this day (August 16th 2011) the airline QANTAS announced through major newspaper advertising that “there’s a new spirit”.

In a wrap-around the company declared “we are building a stronger QANTAS”, “the times have changed and QANTAS is changing with them” and so on.

Words not used include “job” and  “losses”.

Strange that.

As part of QANTAS’ brave new world around 1,000 people will lose their employment.

But then again when you pay for an advertisement you get to say whatever you like, even if it looks a bit disingenuous.

For more on the FULL story see the range of words and phrases used here.

The second wordy thing is about how words can threaten.

Words make up language and language is an amazingly powerful and personal thing.

So imagine how you might feel if a language you speak was described thus: “I abhor the appalling and moribund monkey language”.

Just imagine.

Go on, just think about it.

Just ponder why such cruel words would be said.

What is the point ?

They are directed at the language spoken widely across England’s nearest neighbour.

And they are contained in this review of a book detailing how a writer sought to learn more about his heritage.

It’s an interesting tale, as are all tales of discovery and re-discovery.

That a reviewer in a reputable newspaper would choose to ignore the author’s journey and instead talk of a “monkey language … which hasn’t had a new noun since the Middle Ages” makes you wonder.

Why the nastiness, why the bile, why the completely incorrect assertions ?

Well, you can’t find out I am afraid.

“We are no longer accepting comments on this article,” says the newspaper’s website.

So much for debate.

Words, words, words.

Here are some interesting ones:

The reviewer’s name is Roger Lewis.

The newspaper is the UK’s Daily Mail.

The language being attacked is Welsh.

Here’s more about the author and here is his book.

And after all that, I am – for now – at a loss for any more words.


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