Wednesday, January 16, 2008

L. A. & Joh’burg.

On the Night of January 12th there was an armed robbery by a single crook brandishing a pistol at a Gambling joint, which was caught on Security footage. One picture of it made the Next day’s Front Page of the Melbourne Age News paper. And above the picture in very large type was the heading, “ Detroit? L A? Joh’burg? No! Melbourne!”

It wasn’t the sensational headline that caught my attention so much, but the mention of Joh’burg. It was obvious to me that the writer of the headline, had obviously spent enough time in South Africa, if not Johannesburg itself, to feel comfortable in using the local (To South Africa) term for their City, but I couldn’t help wondering if most of the Melbourne Age’s readers caught the connection, and how many would have thought that Joh’Burg was another city in its own right, somewhere.

It reminded me of a similar incident while we were in South Africa. It was at the time that the TV series L A Law was being shown on South African Television for the first time and it was being heavily promoted on the relevant T V Station. It really was quite funny listening to a TV Overhead Announcer come on encouraging everyone to watch” LA(R) Law”.

From these two incidents I couldn’t help but wonder that when we speak or write something, whether other people properly understand or know what we are talking about? Sure we do, but do others? It is not enough that we know what we are talking about. Whilst that is very important, it is even more so to make sure that people are really hearing what we think we are saying.

So this is just a little reminder to us all, myself especially, to make sure that we are always clear in what we are trying to get across, and if we do use Local idioms or slang, to make sure our audience also understands them, otherwise rather than help or enlighten, we will confuse them at best, and at worst come across as total idiots. What say you?

No comments: