Sunday, January 16, 2005

Poor Writing

Someone died yesterday. Hmmm, no shit. Anyway, I didn't know him but I know and have worked with his wife. His wife is the grand dame of debate in Singapore. Very well respected and revered. Anyway, his death was featured in today's newspapers. A side column but nonetheless, there was attention. However, the attention was all wrong. The article talked about Mrs C. Her achievements and the awards she had won. But really, that has absolutely nothing to do with her loss or the accident that brought about the death. What is the point of actually telling us that she won some teacher's award last year? Does it make her any more or less likely to mourn her husband's death? And the article also reported her reluctance to speak to the press, citing her not being ready to talk about her husband's death. What cockanadan (a word I made up to emphasise the ridiculousness of some things that couldn't be encapsulated by simple idiocy)school of journalism did she go to that she never learnt not to ask stupid questions?? Or for that matter, how did she become smart enough to become a press scholar without learning tact, subtlety, empathy and sympathy?

Someone muttered that perhaps she did start of with these qualities but the years of writing for our only national broadsheet has sunk her to unbelievable lows completely unrivalled by our dimmest of students who incidentally, I teach.

And I must clarify, that some of these kids are rather dim witted. This morning, I had to kick myself hard to not look amazed when one of these kids that I tutor asked in all earnestness why beheading wasn't used more as a tool for euthanasia. His logic, it's painless (like Euthanasia) and it costs less. Seriously. Something really has to be said about the apparent lack of brain cells that plagues this generation. It's cool to seem radical and to cause sensation.

Compare this to the simple obituary of Mrs C's husband. Loving Husband, Son and a Great Guy... Come say bye to him...

Terse, but it didn't require much more and even though I didn't know the man, I knew all the important bits.

How's that for a lesson in writing?

Ondine tossed this thought in at 13:55

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