Audio Notes on the careless crimes of language

I tried to use the AudioNote app recently for a talk on Modern Manglish at the 2012 Sydney Writers Festival. I found it a bit cumbersome using the iPad to record audio. Also it was difficult to find a spot close enough to get a good recording without also recording other background sounds. In a smaller room with fewer people it might be a better recording. Having said that I don’t think it’s meant to be used for that purpose.

For recording short audio quips, maybe 1 min, and typing quick, short notes in order to refer to later, it is handy. I was surprised though that the young ones in the audience were still taking notes on paper. Is it a myth that they’re all tech savvy? I did envy them at times when I found it difficult to write longer notes with the screen keyboard. Either it’s really not good for typing long notes or I’m not good at it.

The Modern Manglish talk (based on the book with the same title) was informative and entertaining. Authors, Neil James and Harold Scruby, talked about the careless crimes of language such as:

  • The unnecessary dress up of language. Eg. “Destination counsellor” instead of “travel agent”, “Director of first impressions” instead of “receptionist”. Can you think of more examples?
  • Mixed metaphors. Eg. “Draw a line across the board so we can enjoy a level playing field.”
  • Mispronunciations, overpronunciations and changing accents. Apparently Melbournians replace the “el” with “al” so television becomes “talevision”. Is this true?
  • Intentional crimes of language by the defence and corporate world. Eg. “It’s not torture. It’s an enhanced interrogation technique.”
  • Intentional crimes of language by celebrities. Eg. “Gestational carrier” instead of “surrogate” al la Nicole Kidman.
  • Pollywaffle. Boring meaningless gambits by politicians. Eg. “At the end of the day…having said that…we need to go forward.”
  • The American invasion of bad language. Do you agree?

I was able to email the AudioNote as an audio file only but the receiver would need the app to open it in. I could also email it as a PDF but then you receive two separate files, an audio file you can open on the iPad or Quicktime and the text file which can be opened in Dropbox.

I can see the potential for this app in education though. Students could share notes for project work or as a way to collect audio and notes for an evidence based assignment.

So what Modern Manglish have you heard?



One thought on “Audio Notes on the careless crimes of language

  1. Pingback: Audio Notes on the careless crimes of language | EnglishInsider |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s