Saturday, November 28, 2009

Words of warning

Two rappers have apparently been jailed for issuing blood-curdling death threats to potential witnesses in a murder case, according to the BBC news website.

"Its connection to this case and its chilling message were immediately obvious to the officers," Mr Glasgow told the court. The video had but one purpose - to threaten any witness to this incident to frighten them to such an extent that they would refuse to co-operate with the police. They made it clear exactly what it was they wanted to do to them.

"Namely, kill them or to use their own words, 'I can't wait for the snitch to drop, I still show up at his wake just to see him off'."

Old Bailey Judge Richard Hone said the lyrics meant: "Those who went chitter-chattering to police were themselves in danger of being shot."

It's a strange story and one that might be of use to anyone working on material for political correctness and language on ENGA3/4. How far does freedom of speech extend? Should we be able to say whatever we want, or can certain pronouncements put us at risk of a prison sentence?

1 comment:

This is me said...

Dear sir, how are you? I am a student majoring in linguistics in Taiwan and looking for native English speakers to help me out with a questionnaire I desgined. It is more like a psycholinguistic research. I came cross this website, and think you're concerned about the language level that people can acheive. So I was wondering if you can help me out with the questionnaire for my research project? Jensen