Politicians Re-defining The English Language

enrique 24 January 2008 74

A few years ago I performed a job for a federal government department and took note that everyone had been directed via an edict from John Howard that all written use of the word program was to be spelt “programme”.

Today I’ve just been informed that everyone has been directed via an edict from Kevin 07 that all written use of the word programme is to be spelt “program”.

Seriously people – what right does the government have to dictate how to spell common English words. Isn’t that the job of the dictionary?


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74 Responses to Politicians Re-defining The English Language
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Snahons_scv6_berlina Snahons_scv6_berlina 10:12 am 05 Feb 08

and how much time and money has/will be wasted within the PS discussing the changed spelling of words as described within all new style guides ?

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 10:00 am 05 Feb 08

Then and Than will hopefully also be covered in the Style Guides. 😐
Seems even the ABC is letting that one slip through of late. 😐

*only a grammar Nazi on slow days*

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 9:50 am 05 Feb 08

It’s official – programmy is dead.

Just been advised by someone who knows my hate of the archaic programme spelling so favoured by Howard, that our area has had a ministerial rejected by the minister’s office for – among other things – the use of programme instead of program.

A Style Guide update is on the way.

Sanity rules.

Now if we can just get people to stop writing/saying “different to”; and “your” instead of “you’re”…

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 3:41 pm 04 Feb 08

If its a Programme thats new to DEEWR, it may come from a place that still uses Old Commonwealth or Departmental Style Manuals.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 3:35 pm 04 Feb 08

I just received a discussion paper from DEEWR littered with “programmes”. Maybe they’re maintaining the old order and holding for a return of the coalition.

Thumper Thumper 1:30 pm 29 Jan 08

And one must not forget Howard removing ‘The federal Government’ and changing it to ‘The Australian Government’.

VicePope VicePope 1:14 pm 29 Jan 08

Says it all, really, about the change of government. What’s described is the same thing (an organised activity for a public purpose). It’s even pronounced the same way. The only difference is cosmetic – and, by getting the letters “me” out of the word, the public sector may be moving away from Howard’s “l’etat, c’est moi” stance.

Thumper Thumper 8:41 pm 28 Jan 08

I’ve worked under both a program (in Environment) and a programme (in Education).

I believe the programme I have been working for over the past two years has now become a program.

Ah, don’t you love a change in government, can’t have anything that the previous government put in place, even words!

I-filed I-filed 7:08 pm 28 Jan 08

These days I think of “program” as e.g. a government program, and “programme” as the booklet you get at a theatre performance.

pierce pierce 6:06 pm 25 Jan 08

Is that a political football skidbladnir?

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 5:34 pm 25 Jan 08

And Troy is also “apporoachable” according to his website.
I suggest he’s either trying to redefine the English Language himself, or hasn’t noticed the typo on the pictures where he is holding a football.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 5:30 pm 25 Jan 08

Troy lives! (also, Troy is campaigning)

TroyWilliams TroyWilliams 5:25 pm 25 Jan 08

Gaf and GnT have something.

If “colour” is spelt “culla” that’s another $650,000 saving, perhaps more if GungahlinAl is right.

caf caf 5:12 pm 25 Jan 08

“Color” isn’t any more commonsense than “colour”, with the Australian accent – most people here pronounce it more like “Culler”.

GnT GnT 4:41 pm 25 Jan 08

Back to the discussion on norms in Australian English…

The Macquarie dictionary is considered the authority on Australian English, but it is ‘descriptive’ not ‘prescriptive’, that is, it describes the forms of English that are most prevalent, not those which ‘should’ be used.

So it is perfectly apt for a style guide to suggest one form should be chosen over another when all language is loaded with hidden meaning.

Personally, I prefer “program”. I also prefer more common-sense spellings like “meter”, “color” and “traveling”, but I’m sure they’ll take longer to become acceptable due to them being American spellings. For some reason Aussies resist any American influence even when it makes sense.

Mælinar Mælinar 3:30 pm 25 Jan 08

Hmm, that sounds scarily like how the Liberals were running near the end…

Just an observation on my own post…

Mælinar Mælinar 3:28 pm 25 Jan 08

Actually, thats a rather undemocratic attitude from sjp. You can not possibly make reasonable decisions on anything when only presented one side of the story.

Using this thread as an example, if you only wanted to hear the good news, you would cut a major chunk out of your avaliable information, and you would not be assessing the bad points vs the good points.

As Mr Evil said, back to your knitting circle, go knit a scarf for over your head if you want to remain in cotton-wool land.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 3:22 pm 25 Jan 08

sjp, go back to your knitting circle!

sjp sjp 2:46 pm 25 Jan 08

There is a lot of nastyness going on here. Is it really necessary? If there’s nothing nice to say, why say anything?

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 2:26 pm 25 Jan 08

Doesn’t “SES” stand for Senior Editing Service

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