Home / View Point / Earl Best / Media Monitor: Pros too have off days; a yes-we-Khan turn-on for Mr Live Wire? 

Media Monitor: Pros too have off days; a yes-we-Khan turn-on for Mr Live Wire? 

The Frequently Found Foreign Names list is a problem for voice and vision journalists in T&T. In one of these columns last month, I tried to shine a light on its importance. 

Not so long ago, Wired868 editor Lasana Liburd was part of a seminar discussing challenges for the media in the era of the Internet. If the subject ever came up in that forum, I think he would have told me but I confess that I have not specifically asked him. 

Image: A satirical take on new media.

I, however, doubt it. Judging by shared reactions to these columns, the general view seems to be that that is a very, very, very, very, very low priority. 

You agree, you say? Well, give a listen to the ad currently airing on Flow Sports about the Concacaf playoffs for World Cup 2022. The games are scheduled to be played in Mexico towards the end of this month.

Where? At the Jalisco Stadium. 

I think the seminar referred to above was held at The UWI in November. However, it is clear that the lofty topics discussed in that forum would not have helped the professional who voiced the ad with this nuts-and-bolts problem. So, since Hanuary is no longer an option, someone should consider staging another one at La Hoya in Hune or Huly.

And putting the pronunciation of Spanish names on the agenda. No hoke. 

CNC3’s Ria Rambally is also a professional presenter. But what on earth got into her during the 7pm news on Monday evening? I mean, if she were reporting on some item belonging to William Williams, she could be forgiven for her errors. But students? Duke?

Photo: CNC3 reporter and news presenter Ria Rambally.

I’m not certain that nowadays schoolchildren have covered that ground before they leave primary school. But surely by first form, they have to have the difference between William’s and Williams’ downpack as the numerous e-literates one encounters these days like to say.

But students is pronounced studentsiz and Duke’s Dukesiz?

My hope is that it will prove to be the good ladysiz one-night misunderstand. 

Does anyone know what former West Indies-white-ball-leg-spinner turned-television-commentator Samuel Badree was thinking during the closing stages of last Saturday’s 2021 Super50 Cup final?

With Kieron Pollard’s Red Force having posted a massive 362 for 5 in their innings and Leon Johnson’s Guyana Jaguars having been reduced to 55 for 6 by the end of the 10th over of their reply, Badree cited ‘…an inauspicious finish to this match so far’.

Apart from the VOL-ca-noes pronunciation that he and Daren Ganga have consistently, inexplicably and unapologetically erupted, oops, adopted, Badree has given a fairly good account of himself since he moved his sphere of operation to beyond the boundary. 

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Red Force captain Kieron Pollard points the way during their 152 run win over the Guyana Jaguars in the Super50 Cup final at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua on 27 February 2021.
(via CWI Media)

For a medium that merely requires the images to be supplemented rather than described, he talks much too much. To his credit, however, his talk is largely error-free and reveals an understanding of the fine points of a game played, it bears repeating, above the shoulder and in the minds of the opposing captains.

But what, pray, is a ‘finish […] so far’? Can you have a finish before the end? I suppose if, as was the case on Saturday, the result is not in doubt and only the margin remains to be determined, the game is finished long before the last ball is delivered. 

Frankly, I’d like to give the erstwhile schoolteacher the benefit of the doubt but I can make little real sense of his ‘inauspicious finish […] so far’.

There’s no doubt for CWI to benefit from, though; its release was just plain wrong.

Akeal Hosein performed very well in Bangladesh and had excellent stats in the CPL,” it quotes lead selector Roger Harper as saying, “so this is an opportunity to see how he equips himself in this format.”

Photo: West Indies chief selector Roger Harper.

I think how he equips himself is a matter for the firm with which he happens to be contracted. Harper’s concern—and ours—should be how he acquits himself. 

And you’d expect the professionals in CWI Communications to know that.

Assumptions about what professional people know, it is becoming increasingly clear, do not always prove well founded. Take, for instance, Tobago-based professional Martin George. As if the two words are not synonyms, he repeatedly—and he is far from being the only public personality to do so—treats us to ‘so therefore…’

I wish he would sometimes reverse back and listen to himself so that language-sensitive ears would be spared the offence. 

Or take Energy Minister Franklin Khan. In the Senate on Tuesday, he proposed that UNC Senator Anil Roberts—who, years after his Spought programme has disappeared, is apparently still spouting nonsense in public—be censured by the Privileges Committee of the Upper House.

Photo: Minister of Energy Franklin Khan.

Reading from a prepared text, Khan treated his fellow senators to the vaguely familiar words ‘sat tie-ri-cal’ and ‘e-gray-rius,’ which, shorn of context, would, I submit, be well-nigh unrecognisable.

Maybe it’s somewhat easier to understand now why government and Patriotic Energies seem to be unable to get each other’s real position straight.

I don’t know what the arrangements were on the first few occasions that the parties met. But if Patriotic Energies do contrive to get a fourth bite at the Petrotrin cherry, maybe they need to insist that there be English interpreters present in the room during all negotiations.

That way, we are more likely to stop, to quote the UNC’s ex-future political leader Roodal Moonilal, ‘playing gimmickry’ with patriotic people and avoid the egregious errors that give Mr Live Wire fodder for his satirical columns.

About Earl Best

Earl Best
Earl Best taught cricket, French, football and Spanish at QRC for many years and has written consistently for the Tapia and the Trinidad and Tobago Review since the 1970's. He is also a former sports editor at the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Express and is now a senior lecturer in Journalism at COSTAATT.

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