Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Linguistic chaos...

"Séasúr na seafóide sna meáin!" (The silly season in the media!)

An extraordinarily ignorant piece of "journalism" appeared in yesterday's Dublin Evening Herald. I would have missed it but for a tweet sent by one of those mentioned. This was a realtively anodyne and perhaps weary response: "It seems Aoibhinn and I are causing "linguistic chaos" with our names dár leis an Herald. Oh dear! ;-)"

However it did spawn a number of one-line responses such as "Náireach," (Shameful), "dochreidible," "aineolach" (ignorant), "Maslach" (Insulting) and a Conamara man tweeted that inimitable word beloved of the late Hugh Leonard, "Gobshite." One tweeter even searched for an obscure word in their copy of the venerable Rev. Patrick S. Dinneen and found "galldúda, m. = a very ignorant person!" Another stated "Níl aon leithscéal don aineolas a bhí ar an té a scríobh an méid sin." (There is no excuse for the ignorance of the person who wrote this.)

It is written under the byline of a guy called Michael O'Doherty (mod@herald.ie). He claimed that the fact that the "Aoibhinn Ni (sic) Shuileabhain (sic)" interview caused "linguistic chaos" not only in pronouncing her own name but also by interviewing the "little known native traditional Irish singer," Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh. (her website!)

Were it not for the fact that it highlights the malaise of much of the English language journalism it would be laughable. (Professional print journalism in Irish has all but been extinguished by Government Agencies recently, nevertheless there are some fine journalists acting independently as on the website An Tuairisceoir who have reproduced the Herald article with the statement: An fáth a bhfuil meáin Ghaeilge de dhíth orainn!  - why we need Irish media -)

This Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh is the same singer that Siobhán Long of the Irish Times has described as "One of the earthiest and most distinctive voices, not just in traditional circles, but anywhere..." She has broadcast not only here in Ireland but also in Britain. Just because she is little known to Michael O'Doherty does not necessarily mean she is little known.

As I had never heard of Michael O'Doherty I did my own little test for "known-ness" and ran a google search for Michael O'Doherty Herald and got just over 44thousand returns. I then ran a search for Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and got nearly 58 thousand.
Finally I would like to know the purpose of the word "native" in his description. Would he not regard himself as "native?" Is the fact that he was born in Killiney exclude him from being "native?" Or could it be that it is a gratuitous insult to our - if not his - own native language?

1 comment:

  1. Níor thug tú faoi deara nach bhfuil an fada thar RTÉ!!! Amadán amach is amach!