6 May 2009

Do Journalists Dream of Electric English?

(OK, I'm talking to/about journalists in a country where, despite having 14 official languages, English remains the de facto language of social and commercial intercourse.)

This article in the Weekend Post (presumably the Official Newspaper of South Bumfuck, Eastern Cape Province, since nobody's ever heard of it before) yaks on:

Spekboom is renowned for its ability to sequestrate carbon, a key function in the battle against climate change.

Forgive me for asking, but don't journalists study English at uni at all? Do they not understand the simple difference between "sequestrate" and "sequester"? That the one is a legal term meaning "we're taking your stuff away", whilst the latter means "we're stashing this stuff out of the way".

Now I'm wondering who is attaching all the property of the Spekboom tree species. Does it even have any property? (Even the imaginary kind?)

Is this the quality of journalistic writing? Of editorial competence? Aagh well.... the Kakistopoly at work again!

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