February 26th, 2007 at 09:16am
I can’t help but get the feeling that the ABC’s title as the master of pronunciation and usage of the English language in Australia is a mere memory. It has been quite obvious over the last couple of years that their pronunciation standards have been slipping to the point where, whilst still perfectly legible, they have no bragging rights over other stations and networks.
Pronunciation is one thing, and we are all human so mistakes should be expected unless you have experts clamouring over every tiny detail, but spelling is another, and last night I was quite dismayed to see ABC Television’s Canberra news use the supposed word “arguement” on a super (aka the story headline graphic thingy next to the newsreader). I’m sure they meant “argument”, and to their credit they pulled it from the screen once the error was noticed, but the mere fact that no form of spell checking system is in use in the ABC newsroom is a worry. If “arguement” happened to be a real, but wrong, word, then I wouldn’t be making any fuss over this, but the fact that it does not appear in any dictionary has me very concerned.
One can only hope that the ABC does not continue to slip, or before we know it they might be fund-raising with a “Quizmania” type of show in place of their current “repeat the night time programs during the day” hour…and that would be a very big shame. I wouldn’t have a problem with a privately funded ABC, but there would be much better ways of fund-raising than loopy 1900 number game shows.