Monday, June 9, 2014

Martina who? One so young can only get better!

Fellow Singaporeans, how many of us have until now heard of the name Martina Lindsay Veloso?

She's "wow"! Let's wish her greater laurels ahead. Martina, we are proud of you.

To truly take pride in Singapore, one may first have to go back further into its multicultural history...

Singapore has rewritten the history taught in secondary school to expand the story of the island state’s birth.

While earlier generations learned a narrative that essentially started in 1819 with the British colonial administrator, Sir Stamford Raffles, stumbling upon a sleepy Malay fishing village, 13-year-olds now learn of a golden age that started 500 years earlier.

The new story, introduced in January, brings into focus a 300-year period, from 1300 to 1600, when Singapore was a thriving multinational trading hub, with an estimated population of 10,000.

The lines above are from a New York Times article headlined...

In New Textbook, the Story of Singapore Begins 500 Years Earlier

Do journalists here still take pride in their craft? I keep seeing easily-rectified errors or sloppiness in ST (June 9):

No, a Boeing 727 is not a jumbo jet! Indeed, nowhere in the carefully written Reuters article was the phrase "jumbo jet" used. The Boeing 747 has been dubbed jumbo jet because it is a large airliner that can take two aisles. The Airbus A380, with two decks of twin aisles, has been called the super jumbo jet. The Boeing 727 is a regular single aisle jetliner. So, even if the headline writer is not an aircraft buff, he or she should first ask: "Are all jetliners jumbo jets?" This is not an unfair imposition. It is the mark of an actively curious mind.

Caption writing is not a throwaway. It needs to be carefully crafted too. A good checker would not have allowed this caption to get through...

Why? You either give the ranks of both senior police officers mentioned in the caption or -- if space does not permit it -- you omit them (ie, just say Central Police Division commander and Ang Mo Kio Division commander). "DAC (NS)" is confusing... how many people know what is "DAC"?

The text of the story has all the full information:


Finally, use appropriate idioms!...

One can apply the expression "wrecking ball" to the idea of a building being demolished but not to a tomb! I fear the thinking journalist is become a rarity, at least here in Singapore.

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