I put a spell on you
Well, not me actually, but the BBC promise to.
is to be a game show about, um, spelling. "Our motto is 'Spelling is compelling',
" said Hard Spell executive producer Karen Smith, who believes that the programme will have mass appeal. "It will be a bit like Pop Idol in the sense that we will explore the backgrounds of the participants and go behind the scenes to show the last-minute nerves. We will show the parents in the audience, the drama of it all.
The parents? Yes, this little bit of reality TV is to find the UK's best speller under 14. Many folks must be appalled at the idea; they're so used to texting that they can't tell their Rsse from their Lbeauz.
I like English. It's a language of both precision and poetry. When speaking there's a lot more going on than mere verbalising. Add intonation, emphasis, grunts and sighs, facial expressions, gestures, even clothing, and the meaning of a message can be altered. Generally, we don't think about how or what we say; our experiences and lifestyle equip us with intuitive and visual spontaneity. We have a choice of vocabulary and syntax which we vary to suit our audiences.
I take the view that if it's worth publishing, then it is worth writing properly. Writing is essentially a solitary affair. We may have a mental image of our readership to lend us a voice, but unless it?s a shopping list or one of those blogs which inform the world that "I kissed my cat and then I had a bath and then ...
", then we have time to choose the apt word, the right punctuation and tenses to convey our message.
For an avid reader, there is nothing worse than errors to upset rhythm and flow. If I receive something of importance which I have to read more than once to understand, then its importance is automatically diminished. Here in Indonesia, I do make allowances, but when I come across an advertisement which hasn?t been proof or copy edited, then I'm inclined to think that the product is also shoddy, so I won't buy it. Check out Full Proof
's Chamber of Horrors link to see what I mean.
The Beeb may find Hard Spell a hard sell, but then maybe not if Carol Vorderman