It was sad to hear an early Sunday morning Newstalk ZB radio news item of a hit-and-run accident in Whanganui on Saturday evening resulting in the death of a motorcyclist. Sincere condolences to the rider's family and friends for your tragic loss.
Disconcerting as that news was, it was the reported location of the accident that also left me dismayed, for the female newsreader said it occurred on the corner of (as though written) "Geo-jetty" Rd. It took me a moment to realise she had totally mispronounced "Georgetti".
This is by no means the first time I have heard so-called professional broadcasters botch up our English language.
Hearing our English language too often poorly executed by people of all ethnicities and backgrounds irks me deeply but also has given me a greater understanding of the angst our Maori people feel when over many years te reo words have been poorly pronounced.
I try now to listen and get it right, out of respect for the language that lies at the heart of Maori culture. It is good to hear others also making this effort.
Alongside our need to respect te reo, can we also please respect our English language, and that of the many other ethnicities that now make up our population? Hearing it so carelessly pronounced is truly painful for anyone who holds their language dear.
L M KITT
Eons ago an inventive Chinese wizard created products that popped, banged and fizzed.
They sparkled, exploded, sparked and spun, providing much delight, laughter and fun.
Kiddies leapt up and down with glee and wonder; they even brought smiles to the faces of mothers.
But now, in the age of enlightenment, Fun Police want to remove our entitlement.
My own little fur people are fine at this time; no trauma, psychosis, neurosis is showing.
However, if we ban these little joy machines, I expect you all to get down on your knees,
praying; "Dear God, Our world is asunder. We demand that you eliminate thunder"
Dani Lebo paints for us so succinctly what Christmas means to so many of us and the accompanying picture illustrates it so well.
How has this become what Christmas is all about? How did it get its name?
Why do we put ourselves through all the paraphernalia and expense when we are longing for rest and recreation after a busy year and examinations etc?
The very name "Christmas" gives us some clues about its origins. Cast your mind to that little new baby lying in a manger. Do we even know what a manger is these days and appreciate the significance of his birth? The song says — "Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head."
Slowly through the years, the meaning of Christmas has shifted. The love that brought Jesus down to earth to pay the price of our sinfulness has become adulterated by our self-fulfilment.
Maybe the gifts we receive are lovely and we appreciate them, and the gifts we give are given lovingly to those we love, but there is a deeper, more profound love that we can focus on when we give our allegiance to the one who gave the greatest gift of all — Himself — to pay for our sinfulness and repair that relationship that we had previously.
With regard to next year's referendum on the issue of decriminalisation of cannabis, we have heard most of the arguments for and against. Mostly, also, these have been somewhat emotive and partisan points of view.
What is needed from here on, in my view, is a more objective look at the real issues, particularly as they are highlighted from overseas studies into what impacts legalisation of marijuana have had throughout societies in those countries and states.
I think such findings need to be at the forefront of our considerations, so we can all make informed choices in the referendum based on objective evidence both for and against.
This issue is not black-and-white and, in the interests of our society, I think this sort of objective information needs to be widely available in the educative process leading up to the referendum.
This issue requires educated choices, not stabs in the the dark if we are serious about the future benefit to NZ communities and people. Currently I am undecided, largely because I don't have sufficient information of the kind I mentioned to make an authentic choice.
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