LETTER - ‘Days of good grammar are long gone’
Long before ‘mission statement’ referred to idiotic, and expensive, slogans relating to public services John Reith, founder of the British Broadcasting Company, as it was, declared its purpose was to ‘inform, educate and entertain’.
Well, yes, it still entertains and informs but when it comes to education it could certainly benefit itself from a little of that. I wonder what John would have made of the reporter on Radio 4 who informed us the other evening that the World Health Organisation is known as the W haitch O (well, not by me) , or her colleague who said the cost of something was ‘one pence’, presumably not understanding that one is singular and pence is plural.
I have yet to hear an announcer who understands the difference in emphasis between Royle Family and Royal Family, but give them a script containing the words baths, past and laugh and they will dutifully pronounce them so as to rhyme with maths, massed and gaff.
Obviously someone in some senior position has decided that they should all speak like the Americans, but what sounds natural in an American drawl just sounds embarrassing and moronic when delivered with a London accent.