Let me elaborate my point with examples. If all of you recall sometime back there was a major controversy with Varun Gandhi making comments regarding the Muslim community. Now of course the media instead of ignoring that jerk, decided to give him all the media space he could have asked for in his entire lifetime, of course in the name of holding up the truth. Now here comes the fun of it. Priyanka Gandhi had gone for some election rally when she was constantly asked by journalists about what she felt about her estranged cousin’s remarks. First she avoided and then like any normal decent human being she commented saying it was not something she was taught as and of course the blah blah comments on how the Gandhi family was taught otherwise, etc. She did not criticise, shout, or do anything but simply commented that it was not her philosophy and that too on being asked. Now I watched the news that day all day. So here she was giving a live interview, that too on being questioned incessantly but what is the coverage we get half hour later in all news channels. “PRIYANKA GANDHI SLAMS HER COUSIN”. Now the OED defines Slam as censuring someone harshly or forcefully. Now under no circumstances did she even censure the man cause she was quite clear it was not her job. So how did the word “slam” get attached to it? Did someone here mention the word TRP? Please we are talking of the honest media here. The 4th estate. And how can you demean it by saying TRP? They are not here for business but for telling us the truth. Please understand that in their busy schedule they forgot to buy an OED for themselves and hence the honest mistake.
Now let’s go to another example. How many of us have see the word “breaking news” flashing across your screen all day in all news channel. Now the OED dfines “breaking news” as a news which is just flashed. Now you must admit that rarely does news happen 24 hour which can be broken into the media. And a news cannot be called breaking news if its 2 hours old. Now again did someone say eyeballs, viewership, etc? Tsk tsk. No. Those poor people do not have the dictionary with them. So the mistake. If only someone told them that it should be flashed as news update, they would have, but poor guys do not know the same.
Now if you think am only saying people in the audio visual media need the OED you are wrong. Even the poor print guys need a dictionary. Let me give you another instance of the poor language being misused. Am sure all of you guys are quite used to controversy relating to MOS Mr Shashi Tharoor. Now poor man being part of the UN, etc uses too much of the queen’s language not understanding that the Indian media has no clue about the same. Poor chaps tweets about cattle class. Now cattle class is a word coined by the Americans to define economy class travel and has nothing to do with the word cattle, same as barking up a tree does not call one a dog. But our ignorant media of course had headlines the next day “Shashi Tharoor calls Indian masses cattle”. Poor chap had he said Indian people leads a dog’s life I can just imagine the report. “MOS Tharoor calls Indian middle class dog” Anyway now as tragedy happened some smart alec brought it to their notice that what cattle class really meant. So then they went running to the Congress for some comments and those people not knowing what hit them, had to say they do not accept such comments. Now next came the report “Congress rebukes Tharoor”. Now firstly your lack of the knowledhe of the language creates a controversy and then you create a further controversy by asking people for comments and then saying they are rebuked and then taking the high moral ground stating why don’t politcians have a sense of humour or know the language?
Now Please don’t say our 4th estate is corrupt and they did this just to sensationalise the news and create news when they had none. How many times do I need to remind you its all cause they do not have the knowledge.
Now I know a lot of you cynics will say all this is done for TRP, money, eyeballs, etc, etc but I honestly still feel its cause they do not have a dictionary with them. Hence I would like to contribute to them. I will admit I am doing so for my own selfish reasons as tomorrow when I have kids, I want one headache less. At least the media can do the job of teaching them English like my dad learnt, and anyone who knew him will admit that his hold on the language was par excellence. For all those who agree with me, PLEASE PLEASE DO CONTRIBUTE. All contributions towards this noble cause will grant you a place in the history for saving the English language.
PS : Same applies for all vernacular language and hence please contribute generosuly for them too.