Sunday, December 09, 2007

England and America two countries divided by a common language?

In the letter from the BBC to Tony Palmer it speaks of 'findability', not a real word. I watched Question Time on BBC News 24 yesterday and James Rubin, the former Assistant Secretary of State, used the word 'Weaponize' - it was said in the context of 'arming' a nuclear weapon. Oscar Wilde wrote in 1887 that `We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language'. The BBC is doing the best to ensure that even that difference is eradicated. It was George Bernard Shaw who said, "England and America are two countries divided by a common language."

18 comments:

jams o donnell said...

Gah there are some buzzwords that make me cringe. Correction, there are a hell of a lot of buzzwords!

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Yes, wonder where that leaves the colonials.

Richard Thomson said...

I'm like - I *so* can't believe you'd try to disunderstandulize and disrespectulize what they're trying to say. That's, like, soooo unkewl?

JVaughan said...

Greetings From Washington, D. C.!:

I think my predecessor in this thread is regretably _SPOT_-_ON_ right in sattirizing England's current linguistic affinity with our Country, and this Anglophile wishes that it would just _GO_ _AWAY_, and that, dare I suggest it, England would be England and America, if it _MUST_, would be America! The Americanism which annoys me most, strange to tell, is your increasing use of the word "guy" to designate the male gender, if not, as is increasingly being done, _BOTH_ genders. "Chap" may not be much more polished," but at least it is, unless I am _GROSSLY_ mistaken, a product of _YOUR_ culture, not ours, thus making it more tolerable to me (and, of course, that word _DOES_ have a proper place in your Country, each October). A couple of things I have been saying of late are that perhaps you should consider calling your Country "Little America on the Channel," and that you should perhaps change that old song of yours to go "there'll always be America where England ought to be."

As for this Palmer controversy, it is my understanding, whether rightly or wrongly, that "Five" refers to BBC Five, so is not the BBC televising this apparently-great documentary after all? Yet that lack of knowledge of Vaughan Williams on the part of whoever wrote that rejection letter could be considered disturbing, regretable at _VERY_, least, including the writer's lack of knowledge that VW indeed died in 1958. Yet the film _WILL_ be seen by those who are fortunate enough to know about it, and, if it is Region-1 compatible, it should, before too long, find its way into my collection despite me not being able to see the visual effects for being legally blind. According to the review of the film in _The_ _Telegraph_, Mr. Palmer had so much material he could have used, and thus some things, including discussion of _MY_ favourite VW work, _The_ _Pilgrim's_ _Progress_, had to be eliminated (Mr. John Noble, closely associated with the title role in this morality as the composer preferred to call it, was interviewed, but again regretably we will not get his comments, on _Pilgrim_ at least). Yet this film evidently probes quite deeply into this composer's character, notably his darker side, and thus, _Pilgrim_ or no _Pilgrim_, it should prove _MOST_ revelatory!

To close, having mentioned my legal, now close to total, blindness, I am _MOST_ grateful to this Blog's Owner that the default visual-verification tool has been turned off here since the link provided for such as we to hear what we are expected to type does not work for me.

Hoping this finds you well, and wishing you _MUCH_ rewarding listening to RVW's music and, should you watch it (as it appears you will), a rewarding experience from this new documentary,

J. V.

JVaughan said...

And, just in case there is any ambiguity, my parenthetical comment about a word belonging to your culture each October (or is it November as I now think it is) was to "Guy," "Guy Fawkes" to be specific, not to "chap," as _COULD_ have seemed suggested.

Richard Havers said...

JV, thanks for your thoughtful insights. Just by way of clarification '5' is not a BBC channel it is independent.

I'll post on the film after new year.

JVaughan said...

That _INDEED_ makes the rejection letter Mr. Palmer reputedly received all the more disturbing and, it could seem, uncalled-for!

J. V.

Richard Evans said...

For those of us who can't wait for Channel Five's broadcast, of Tony Palmer's film of the life of Ralph Vaughan Williams, 'Oh Thou Transcendent', it is available on DVD from December 6th from his web site www.tonypalmerdvd.com

I'm not sure if the DVD is all regions but the RVW Society (great society, dreadful-looking magazine) is heavily promoting it to it's US members.

Richard Havers said...

Mine is ordered!

JVaughan said...

I left the RVW Society after a few years' membership in part because their magazine is too large to conveniently fit onto my scanner so that the scan-and-read programme I use might read it to me.

Yet further, it seems that Mr. Palmer's Website is not loading properly for me since, when I try to go to it, it at first says "page has three links," but I cannot find them using the arrow keys, which is, along with the tab key, how I navigate. When I press either control+home or control+end for top and bottom of page respectively and then press down-arrow for reading, it indeed says "Tony Palmer DVD home," but remains stuck there until I press enter, and then I am back to nothing again. Perhaps the page is just not "screen-reader friendly," and thus I may need to either ask a sighted person to access it on their computer or possibly on mine. The DVD does not yet seem to be available on amazon.co.uk, though searching for it by title brings links to "Tony Palmer" and "Vaughan Williams," though without a relevant result connected with the former.

J. V.

Richard Havers said...

JV, I'm afraid I'm on a mac so I'm unfamiliar with the pc commands.

If you click anywhere on that home page it takes you to an order page. On the order page you have to scroll down to it, but that might be no use to you if it doesn't voice read the page.

It is not showing for sale on Amazon.

You could try mailing the DVDs maker at

tradeinquiries@tonypalmerdvd.com

Richard Havers said...

JV, better make that

info@tonypalmerdvd.com

JVaughan said...

That should indeed do it, and thank you _VERY_ much! I could also discuss my accessibility issue in my E-Mail!

J. V.

Colin Campbell said...

This is awesomely true Richard. I had to bite my teeth during my first few years living in the land of funny language. It is however no more odd than Indian, Malaysian and even Australian English, although the Australian version is a hell of a lot more palatable.

I read an article yesterday about how Australia was becoming increasingly disenchanted with America, with the exception of movies and I would add all forms of popular culture. Australian television is wall to wall Yanqui reruns. Long may the writers strike run. My daughter has adopted numerous Yanqui phrases as her own.

Colin Campbell said...

Interesting article.

Richard Havers said...

Colin, very interesting article.

Ruthie said...

"Weaponize?"

I have a lot of grammatical pet peeves, but "verbing" is one of the worst.

Verbing weirds language. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Good brief and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.