It won't surprise anyone to hear that my periodic grizzling about the ghastly voices of female broadcasters has had zero effect. If anything, things have got worse.But wait, there's more!
On my local radio station I hear a young woman announcer who sounds as if she has just inhaled helium. Even Radio New Zealand, the last citadel of correct pronunciation, has fallen to the Barbarians. There are female reporters on the state-owned radio network who would make Lyn of Tawa sound like the Queen.
I recently heard a female RNZ journalist report that a district howth board had wowcomed a crackdown on teenage drinkers. And did you know the Labour Party is led by someone named Full Goff?Really? What about male broadcasters?
Female broadcasters were once regarded as exemplars of proper speech, but in a bizarre upending of the norm, they now talk in a wince-inducing kay-way accent far worse than anything heard on the streets.
You'll be pleased to know though that du Fresne does not restrict his criticism to Kiwi sheilas:
It's almost a relief to report that the phenomenon is not unique to New Zealand. Australian political journalist Kerry-Anne Walsh, who does a weekly report from Canberra on Radio New Zealand's Morning Report, has a voice that would make a flock of galahs sound melodious.Can't say I'd noticed. i love listening to Kerry-Anne Walsh as I find what she has to say interesting, and often communicated in a witty and intelligent manner. Silly me!
I have heard it argued that none of this matters as long as we can understand what people are saying,Finally some sense!
to which my response is twofold. First, it's physically painful to listen to some of these awful voices torturing the language; and second, it's getting to the point where we can't understand them.Oh dear, I typed too soon. I wonder what type of torture reading a Karl du Fresne column constitutes?
It's only a matter of time before we'll need subtitles on the TV news bulletins to explain what some female journalists and newsreaders are saying.But not the men. Maybe we should just replace the ladies with fellas and solve the problem?
Big thanks to reader Tessa for emailing me about this stunning piece of ridiculousness.