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Slang sets bad example

Ian Prince | 12:04 UK time, Friday, 19 May 2006

Looks like Newsround is setting a bad example again. We've done it before and we'll do it again, although we won't go a far as Jeremy Paxman's use of slang.

Newsround logoOur complaint referred to a caption during an item about school bogs (sorry, toilets) which have been equipped with CCTV to cut down on bullying and bunking off (sorry, avoiding) lessons (read the story here).

The caption read "the new loos cost 100 grand" while the voiceover said "doing up the loos has cost the school a hundred thousand pounds".

Our captions reflect the way our audience watch TV. They are not news junkies who listen to every broadcast word. They have an interest in the world around them, but are probably doing other tasks while watching TV. The straps are another way they may absorb information. This is the age group who play games which are multi-layered with music, on screen instructions, action, narrative and hand controls to operate all at the same time.

"Grand" can be found in the dictionary. It fits our style of being informal and accessible to a primary school audience and children feel that Newsround is "their programme".

If children took away from that story an understanding of how school design can be used to make pupils feel safer, that there are decisions to be made about how money is spent in a school, and that the English language is a rich resource with often more than one word for something, then that's well good.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 12:35 PM on 19 May 2006,
  • Jim B wrote:

Quite right too. But I wish you'd finished your last sentence: "If children took away from that story an understanding of how school design can be used to make pupils feel safer... and that the English language is a rich resource with often more than one word for something, then that's grand."

But where does this end?

Would newsround put up captions such as:

"N E bod-E can C newzrand on tv" etc?

Because that's how many kids actually talk/communicate these days!

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