Scribbling re TV language

Posted on Thu 02 Sep 2010 @ 11.00am HKT



Found a note I wrote from my paperwork:

17 March 2010 @ 01.20

As I sit in my office dealing with sensible stuff, I have the telly on just a few feet away. The Pearl Report is doing a hall-of-fame kind of report on a local Hong Kong politician.

The English in Hong Kong is just totally full of f*ck.

  • “… and his work will persist.” (Use continue.)
  • “… he will surely try to do his best in the years to come.”

How the hell would you know, Mr Television Journalist? Why can’t you just say something like “… he says he’ll do his best to [do whatever] in the years to come”?

That programme on Hong Kong current affairs is replete with language problems. Most of the time, its language is a mishmash of British and American English (not ‘Englishes’) — stick to one, we won’t mind which. Consistency is king in TV.

Protip: Stay away from localised ching-chong-chow-mein pseudo-British Chinglish, which in most cases involves heavy use of -ly adverbs like surely, definitely and the even more pretentious resolutely. Just stick to the regular, everyday adverbs like highly.

God, watching Hong Kong’s English-language TV channels can give you a hernia.

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Posted in: Colour Section