Brian Edwards Media

Archive for December, 2011

Mangled English on 3News

It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m going out with a snarl.

TV3 has a line-up of excellent regular newsreaders, both male and female. They present the news clearly and cleanly, and manage to avoid the contrived and cringe-making wordplay that litters TVOne’s bulletins.

However, the final bulletin for the year had the female newsreader labelling Diane Foreman an ‘entreprenyure’ – rhymes with ‘manure’ – and her male counterpart telling us about ‘nucyular’ capacity and Russell Brand’s ‘sex addition’. Tonight’s presenters are both familiar faces, but the channel didn’t give us their names. Wisely, perhaps.

Accurate pronunciation should be a prerequisite for  those who make their living presenting television and radio bulletins, as should the ability to read short pieces aloud without making a complete twit of oneself, and just because we’re in the silly season doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect English-as-a-first-language from the network’s stand-in presenters.

Take two aspirin and wait for Caroline, Hillary, Mike and Simon to return…

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Santa’s Little Helpers – and accolades for the City Mission

With our myriad children and grandchildren scattered to the winds we tend to hold our ‘traditional’ Christmas (presents and excessive over-eating and drinking) on Boxing Day, when we’ve a better chance of collecting some of them from the airport.

The main event of our Christmas Day is usually elevenses with Mimosas and muffins for all and sundry (followed by a nice lie down for much of the afternoon).  Many of our friends find a couple of glasses of bubbles help to soothe the way through nerve-wracking family events, and stagger off to greet Auntie Sue with less stomach-churning dread than sobriety could offer. Others just like the idea of being mildly pissed before lunchtime. It’s noisy and fun and we never know  if we’ll be catering for a dozen or fifty.

This year we volunteered to be Santa’s Helpers at the City Mission Christmas Dinner.

New Zealand’s Biggest Family Christmas Dinner has now grown to proportions that are either a) heartwarming or b) an indictment on our society. Being Christmas Day I’m not going to go into full flight about NZ’s poverty problem. I’ll save that for New Year – be warned! Read the rest of this entry »

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A Pacific Christmas

 

A very happy and peaceful Christmas season to you all.

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Oh, Christmas!

This year’s billboard from St Matthew-in-the-City. Ya gotta love them!

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Fresh off the boat

You probably know by now that we’re in Raro. We reckon it’s our 15th visit, a sort of home from home. So we know the place and the people pretty well. Actually, we thought we knew everything. But we were wrong. This time we’ve made a find.

There are a stack of good restaurants in Rarotonga, but every now and then you come across something extra special – in this case an eatery where you can feast on the yummiest meal you’ve ever had, bring your own wine and walk away with a bill of just $24 – for two! Yep, that’s $12 a head for the most popular item on the menu, the “Fresh Off The Boat” sandwich.

The “Fresh Off The Boat” sandwich is exactly what it claims to be – a sandwich made with fish caught that day, filleted on the boat at the end of the jetty, crumbed, seared on a hotplate  and served in a soft Turkish bread  sandwich with lettuce and tomato coated in a delicious lime mayo dressing. Unless there’s a queue – and the word is getting out – you’ll wait no more than a few minutes for this food of the gods to appear as you sip your chardonnay under the umbrella at  your picnic table, bask in the tropic heat and look at the sea. And if the “Fresh Off The Boat Sandwich” isn’t to die for, I’ll eat KFC for a week.

Have I missed anything? Oh yes, the name of the eatery and where to find it. Well, look for the sign to the Avana Fishing Club, near Muri. It’s there. And don’t expect a flash restaurant. Your food – and there’s an extensive menu of treats – will be prepared and cooked in a converted shipping container by some very nice (and very attractive) ladies.

It’s the low season here in Rarotonga – sun, sea, sand and no waiting. So if I may borrow from our Aussie neighbours – where the bloody hell are you?

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Paradise up in flames

 

One of the hundreds of flametrees in bloom in Rarotonga.

Rational thought and argument currently suspended in favour of slothfulness and self-indulgence.

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Absolutely awesome!

Have you noticed that no-one just says ‘Yes’ anymore? The standard affirmative reply seems to be ‘Absolutely!’ 

We first noticed this during media training sessions.  It became impossible for interviewees to answer a question with a simple affirmative. ‘Absolutely’ used to be an intensifier that added real weight to a reply. Now it’s crept into everyday language and taken over:

‘Are you going to the supermarket?’

‘Absolutely!’

Then we have the wonderful old biblical word ‘awesome’, which for centuries used to mean something that filled one with awe – the face of God, the power of the weather, the breathtaking beauty of Nature. Today?

‘I’m cooking sausages for tea.’

‘Awesome!’

So we’ve taken two of the strongest words in our vocabulary and watered them down until they carry no more weight than ‘yes’ or ‘that’s nice’. Read the rest of this entry »

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Shearer or Cunliffe? Why I’ve changed my mind.

 

Fairfax NZ

I like David Shearer. He’s nice. On the one or two occasions that I’ve met him, he’s struck me as unpretentious, warm, natural, sincere. These are the qualities that make him attractive as a future leader of the Labour Party. And, in the now popular terminology, borrowed from the world of soap operas, his ‘back-story’ suggests both organisational competence and idealism.

David Lange had some of these qualities. But like so many political shooting stars, he burnt out quickly.

Helen Clark lacked Shearer’s engaging warmth. But her long political apprenticeship and iron will rewarded her with three terms as Prime Minister.

You can see where I’m going. Praising Shearer’s freshness and dismissing his lack of experience in the bear pit of the Debating Chamber as irrelevant has almost become the norm in comparing him with Cunliffe. I was on that side of the argument myself when Shearer first threw his hat in the ring. But I’ve changed my mind.   Read the rest of this entry »

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