THE EDITOR, Sir:
There are few things more satisfying to me than listening to the news on radio or television being read in simple English by a clear and unaffected Jamaican voice. Regrettably, when I listen to the news, I sometimes cringe as some presentations are marred by the incorrect pronunciation of simple words, sometimes by seasoned newscasters.
Thus, 'ask' becomes 'awks', 'axe' or even 'ass'. Premier League becomes 'premer' league. Owen Ellington, Noel Arscott and Lieutenant Colonel Sean Prendergast become 'Uhwen' Ellington, 'Nowell' Arscott and 'Lootenant' Sean 'Pendergrass'. One experienced media practitioner referred to Horace Chang as 'Hurace' instead of 'Horis'. Westmoreland, Hanover, Clarendon and Manchester are pronounced differently by different news readers even at the same station.
Every day, there are news items from the 'Meterogical' or 'Meter-ological' Service instead of 'Meteorological'. The Pocket Oxford English Dictionary gives the pronunciation of meteorology as 'mee-ti-uh-rol-uh-ji'. (Incidentally, there is no such word as 'pronounciation', even though it is sometimes used on air by persons who should know better).
Media houses should monitor their performance regularly to ensure that high standards are maintained.