Thursday, June 19, 2008


Here's a thought-provoking question put to us.

"hi Martine,

"What are your views on our national newspapers using dialect? They will argue that they're just reporting the subjects' speech faithfully. But wouldn't it be better to simply paraphrase what the speaker said? These quotes are from the Express' lead story today (Shakedown):

""They toting too much ah ghost."

"Asked what she meant., she said, "They kill too much ah people so the people (the deceased) ghost on them so its like they cannot sit still.""


Our response was that the reporter might well say they are trying to show the colourful language of the speaker, but they already paraphrased what was said, so really, what was the point of using the verbatim speech?

We aren't trying to be facetious, so if a newspaper reporter can give us a really good answer, we would appreciate it.