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To write a letter of complaint to the BBC

(9 Posts)
MrsWembley Thu 11-Apr-13 09:23:17

about the shocking lapse of standards in their news programmes.

I've been screaming for several months about the use of pressurise in the wrong context and phrases like 'a big ask', which quite frankly make my teeth itch, and recently there have been several people referring to 'screw-ups' or 'screwing things up', the first of which I heard from a Government minister(shock) but which I have subsequently heard repeated by reporters. Now, this morning, I have heard James, my very own lovely James who can usually do no wrong (even when he can't get names rightwink) on the Today Programme, talk about 'slagging off'.

I am sad. This is R4, a station that I will defend to the last, but I am starting to feel like it's a pointless exercise...

P.S I know this should be in Pedants' Corner, but I'm more angry and sad than that would convey.

MrsWembley Thu 11-Apr-13 09:40:00

Just me then...


TiggyD Thu 11-Apr-13 09:53:28

Language changes and evolves. Should we all talk like Victorians? Or Georgians? Or like that Shakespeare bloke? Or like Chaucer?

DeckSwabber Thu 11-Apr-13 10:01:16

Start it with 'Why oh why" and sign it from Mrs Wembley of Tonbridge Wells?

Personally I'm not that bothered but I will probably go crazy the first time someone says 'aksed'

CocacolaMum Thu 11-Apr-13 10:02:37


seriously, if this is the thing that most stresses you out at the moment then you are a very lucky duck indeed.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 11-Apr-13 10:06:51

One of the key aims of the BBC is to present news in a factual yet widely understandable and accessible manner.

They believe one of the most important ways to do that is to use 'current' language, and so they are encouraged to adopt modern manners of speaking.

If you complain, you'll just get a copy of the relevant part of their code, and a meaningless apology. It might be worth it for you for therapeutic reasons, but I sincerely doubt it'll change anything sad

b4bunnies Thu 11-Apr-13 10:12:29

i often complain to the bbc about low standards on radio 4. they have many other radio stations where they can use incorrect language, why not have one where the intention is to be clear, concise and accurate?

i never ask for a reply. if they improve things, fine; if not, i don't want to hear from them.

if you could persuade them not to use the term 'ahead of' instead of 'before', i should be most grateful.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 11-Apr-13 10:16:29

Nancy Mitford was horrified when somebody suggested they 'contact her' rather than 'make contact with'. Just as now I get a bit irked by 'impacting on', or you (OP) get annoyed by 'big ask'.

I think YABU unreasonable about that, because, as has been pointed out, language changes, verbs move into noun territory, or are used as nouns. Unless, of course, you would yourself be horrified by someone saying he or she would 'contact you'. wink

I think one has to save it for things which are just plain wrong - apostrophes in plurals, and so on. They don't come from language evolving, because they're just placed randomly near any 's', so one can't really argue that in 50 years, all s's will have apostrophes - people do need to get that right, IMO.

MrsWembley Thu 11-Apr-13 10:21:45

I know, I know, First World problems and all that.

I just despair, I really do. I know language evolves, I'm an English teacher (or was pre DCs), but I expect certain things from certain people or places. They can talk down to da yooth on R1 and talk bollocks to the oldies on R2 (which includes me before anyone gets on their high horsewink), but R4 news programmes should maintain the current language norms afaic.

So <blows raspberries to all naysayers>.


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