With reference to LM Kitt (November 13) concerning pronunciation of languages, I think correct pronunciation is important but it should not be taken as offensive or disrespectful if someone gets it a little wrong.
The prime reason I believe it is important is that the purpose of language is to convey meaning from one to another in order to communicate in a connected way.
If the pronunciation is not clear, this opens the door to misunderstanding and a kind of disconnect in some instances.
As for the belief that mispronunciation is disrespectful, I don't agree. Those of us who are from a different culture, for example, will have a certain accent in our pronunciation of other languages. That can't be helped. That applies to English, te reo, French, any other language that is not our familiar one.
Taking offence and being a little too sensitively PC around this is not justified in my view. Language is also an evolving tool. What needs to be remembered as the primary issue, I believe, is that clear and enunciated expression of language is vital to enable effective, meaningful, connected communication.
The dangerous link between disability and euthanasia is not generally understood.
No-one explains it better than Claire Freeman, once supportive of euthanasia but now in the front-line of the campaign against the Seymour bill. Her story will be familiar to many readers who saw it on TVNZ's Sunday programme in May.
Claire is not only tetraplegic but is also a multiple suicide survivor who, three years ago, was advised by her New Zealand psychiatrist and a psychologist to pursue assisted suicide or euthanasia overseas. She fears that if this bill passes, it will only increase such pressure.
Many disabled Kiwis suffer from severe chronic conditions which would quickly become terminal without treatment.
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Euthanasia supporters sometimes describe symptoms that disabled people live with every day and then declare that 'I do not want to live like that ... when I can no longer take care of my own bodily needs, I would rather be dead'.
How do we think that sounds to those with disabilities, who may already be suffering from anxiety about feeling a burden to society?
The Seymour bill contains absolutely no safeguards against self-pressure felt by people who believe their lives hold little value.
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