Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sydney Morning Herald deliberate misquote

Why does the Sydney Morning Herald feel it is their responsibility to "translate" an English quote into English? Worse still, why do they then, after changing the quote, still quote it as if it is the exact quote the person made? An example is the Sydney Morning Herald's changing of a quote from "Now you stab mommy" to "Now you stab mum". 'Now you stab mum', husband tells toddler. To change a quote in this manner is inexcusable. Does the SMH really think that the word "mommy" would not be understood by their readers in Australia? If so that is extremely patronising. All the rest of the world's media kept the quote intact. 'Now you stab mommy', husband tells toddler Does the SMH think that changing the word "mommy" to "mum" would evoke more outrage? If they absolutely have to explain a quote, they can do so in the copy still keep the quote intact as follows: "Now you stab mommy" - American kids call their mother Mom or Mommy, while Australian kids call their mother mum or mummy. The headline has the modified quote while in the copy the modified quote is also used but the word mum has parentheses around it which the SMH must feel legitimises the false quote and makes it OK. It doesn't.

The real concern here is not this specific instance, but if they are willing to change a quote such as this, what other quotes are they willing to change to suit their view of a story?

1 comment:

Palma said...

People should read this.