KIN’s Latest Feature — Our awards for the week’s worst wordsBy Alan Tristram
I’ve finally been forced to write this column because our English language is steadily being degraded, obfuscated and prostituted by those who must be obeyed.
But we want to stand up for good, clear English. We want to see politicians and official speaking directly, clearly and simply.
It’s not that hard — the Bible shows us that. And Shakespeare, and Orwell and a band of great writers we should at least try to emulate.
This week’s worst example — and there are plenty of contenders — comes from an educationalist ! And it’s God help us if the teachers can’t write and speak clearly, but many can’t.
Karen Poutasi, head of the NZ Qualifications Authority, was reported in the Dompost (Thursday, October 10) as responding to cheating allegations thus:
“A judgment call was made by the staff who received the information from the TEC (Tertiary Education Commission) and then the decision was made to seek further information.
She goes on: ” With the benefit of hindsight, it should have been escalated.”
It gets worse.
After explaining that any problems would now be passed on immediately to Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce, Ms Poutasi adds: that more’things are being escalated,’ and…
“There’s greater clarity about what should be escalated and when,” she says.
Ms Poutasi gets this week’s KIN award. But we respectfully suggest Mr Joyce should now de-escalate Ms Poutasis’s use of this sort of English.
(Note: The story revolves round an investigation of the NZQA’s handling of an essay-cheating scandal involving Chinese-speaking students, in which Mr Joyce was kept in the dark for several months)