Sunday, December 22, 2013

Wish 2

... is for more rigour in the use of qualifying adjectives in BBC News bulletins - just tell us what has happened, and let us decide whether the news is good, bad, happy or sad.

There is much less certainty about events that are "good" or "bad" for the economy, the environment, education, health, and much more. Is a rise in interest rates going to be qualified by Peston and Ahmed as "good" when it comes ? Are improved exam results the product of better teaching, brainier pupils or wussy testing ?

And as for the inevitable passage of life, there's a new sentimental and mawkish tendency amongst some presenters and writers. Nelson Mandela's death, at 95, was described as "very sad news"; David Coleman, at 87 was also "very sad news". Lord knows what sort of adjectives are left for the Duke of Edinburgh (92) and his wife. In my generational thinking, a score of over 70 was a good innings, and whatever the general rise in UK life expectancy, there's always a lower percentage of former staff bothering the BBC pension fund beyond 75 than the national average.

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