Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Beeb in bother about b-boy banter

A story (well, kind of a bit of a non-story) in the Daily Express suggests that BBC radio listeners are getting angry about the prevalence of American slang on the airwaves. According to the Express, listeners were outraged by a Radio 4 presenter's use of "fess up" instead of "admit to" and "face up" instead of "confront". And apparently, although the source isn't named, a Radio 1 presenter used "LA street slang". Fo shizzle?

The Express doesn't provide any links or further information, and you'd expect that as it's a rubbish, Tory-supporting newspaper run by a pornographer (or so I'm reliably informed by a man down the pub), but I've done a bit of homework on this and found some of these outraged listeners. Here's a couple of excerpts for you:

 (posted by "Ged")
I find this type of language to be offensive actually.
I detest street language, as it is often used as a form of violence.
I should imagine the person speaking was using to give themselves a deluded sense of street credibility.
As to why people need to project an affinity with people who can barely communicate is beyond me.
Any person attempting to use this language on national radio should be chased out of the studio with a very large stick! 

(posted by "Brian Duncan")
A language which has ceased to absorb neologisms is a dead language. A person who has ceased to countenance change might as well be dead.

A 42-year-old "trying" to behave like an eighteen-year-old is perfectly normal. What would be abnormal would be a 42-year-old doggedly clinging to the mores and manners of his eighteen-year-old self. What is ridiculous is any 42-year-old saying, "OOh! I'm 42. I must now cease from behaving like a 41-year-old, and start behaving as dictated by the age-police."

By what code of practice ought we to govern our dress or speech-habits, and where can I obtain a copy of that document?
For instance, I'm 64, and I play electric bass. Ought I switch to the 'cello - or maybe the harmonium?

Great stuff for a bit of discussion about Language Discourses on ENGA3, I'd have thought.

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