Quote of the day


. . . Liberally sprinkling a book aimed at youngsters with foul language – of a kind that not so long ago would have led to arrest – is no way to increase anyone’s literacy. Certainly not that of teenagers.

Writers have plenty of perfectly good expressive words in the English language to choose from, without reducing literary and language standards to the lowest common denominator.

While bad language may be the norm in the playground, you can bet it isn’t tolerated in the classrooms of teachers marching to the freedom-of-speech drum.

And why are young males from “educational deprived backgrounds” taught that swearing is a good way for them to communicate? Does this mean they are written-off as knuckle-dragging proles?

Youngsters need inspiration, guidance and discipline if they are to engage fruitfully, communicate decently with each other and make their mark.

They don’t have many role models, not if the swearing heard on buses and around bars and cafes is anything to go by.

There’s no need for it…Charles Dickens didn’t do it that way – and he knew about deprived backgrounds.Jock Anderson

Lazy copy


Inflammatory statements make good copy but it’s also lazy copy.

Winston Peters is a master at making the comments which the media happily report.

The headlines appeal to the deluded who support him but are rarely supported by facts.

It’s the media’s jobs to dig for the facts, or at very least challenge Peters to front up with them.

He is hiding behind parliamentary privilege with his accusations that Peter Dunne leaked the GCSB report.

As Jock Anderson says (behind the pay wall at the NBR) :

Speaking freely does not mean making any old allegation without the support of facts . . .

Mr Peters does not have the guts to repeat his allegation outside parliament because he is afraid Mr Dunne might sue him for defamation.

This suggests Mr Peters knows his allegation is not true.

That is bad enough. But Anderson points out that voters should be even more concerned that MMP could allow Peters to have considerable sway in the next government.

That doesn’t say much for those who support him but it might help them think again if the media went beyond the easy copy to find the facts.

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