Correct English usage
Everyone speaks of the need for more and better English. But the English used on television is sometimes horrendous. It is an accepted fact that one picks up a language or the use of it more by listening than anything else.
This is especially so, in the case of children who repeat what they hear. Therefore, the mass media, especially television being an audio-visual medium has an added responsibility to see that the English used by them is acceptable and the pronunciation correct. T.V. commercials are very popular with the young ones and they repeat what they see and hear. In Sinhala teledramas highly sophisticated and westernised characters mispronounce simple English words or use grammatically incorrect English.
A few examples spotted by me may suffice to prove my point:-
Sauce - pronounced as ‘source’
Cordial - ‘cor’ as in code
Joh - ‘jo’ as in ‘joke’
Boss - ‘bo’ as in boat
Bonlac- ‘bo’ as inboat
Joanson - ‘jo’ as in joke
Tower Hall- as Tower Hole (Why not say Tower Ranga Hala? One cannot stage a drama in a ‘hole’!
On a Sunday morning comedy show a lady presenter announced that it was only meant to be a ‘joke’ ‘jo’ as in ‘jaunt’. Recently an ITN news reader spoke of a Cricket ‘Coacher’, when it should be ‘coach’. Rupavahini’s children’s programme telecast every evening is titled ‘Kid’s Club’ - obviously the apostrophe is misplaced. Then Swarnavahini announces its popular comedy programme as "Neighbour Talks". In one tele-drama telecast last week, a teacher tells a mother that her daughter "is one of my student".
As regards pronunciations of words in commercials and
teledramas, I do not advocate strict B.B.C. English or elocutionary
pronunciation, but the young learners should not be exposed to this type of
grammatical mistake and absurd pronounciation, as they are certain to take
it as an example and emulate same.
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