BNC Text J40

British Association of Industrial Editors - Edinburgh Internal Communications Group: informal meeting. Sample containing about 6636 words speech recorded in business context

6 speakers recorded by respondent number C473

PS3R7 Ag2 m (Peter, age 32, ex bp public affairs) unspecified
PS3R8 Ag4 f (Anne, age 47, bnc worker) unspecified
PS3R9 Ag4 f (Susan, age 52, scottish office executive) unspecified
PS3RA Ag3 f (Tukuse, age 38, japanese teacher) unspecified
J40PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
J40PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 110502 recorded on 1993-01-14. LocationLothian: Edinburgh () Activity: informal meeting

Undivided text

Peter (PS3R7) [1] Tape two Friday the fourteenth of January nineteen ninety four for Coobie Garragan Packard discussing a work assignment in entitled registers of English [dog barking in background] describe [laughing] the register of use [...] language [] the noise was a dog.
Unknown speaker (J40PSUNK) [laugh]
Peter (PS3R7) [2] Using as a source of data three texts from different newspapers published on the same day looking at equivalent reca reports in the same news story or editorials, finding one text similar in topic as a basis for comparison.
[3] Identify and discuss language features that are distinctive of the register of the newspapers, I E features common in all three newspaper articles but infrequent or non-existent in the non-use paper shapes the language features if any that distinguish the three newspaper articles from each other with emphasis on vocabulary, adjectives erm and bias ... and the essay title the essay length between three thousand five hundred words and our purpose in discussing this tonight as professional communicators is to help a mature overseas student of English.
Anne (PS3R8) [4] We don't, we don't.
[5] We don't, we don't.
[6] Put him down now.
Susan (PS3R9) [7] Put him down now, he'll be alright.
Anne (PS3R8) [8] Put him down and I'll [...] see if it works.
Susan (PS3R9) [9] It's not that I get reasonably excited it'll be okay.
Peter (PS3R7) [10] [laugh] Right, how do we start?
Susan (PS3R9) [...]
Anne (PS3R8) [11] If I were you I'd put the earphones in.
Susan (PS3R9) [12] Yes.
Anne (PS3R8) [13] If you put the earphones in can we just test first of all what's working?
Peter (PS3R7) [14] Yeah
Susan (PS3R9) [15] That's right.
Anne (PS3R8) [16] Could we go round the room, Susan could you say a sentence.
Susan (PS3R9) [17] As long as I don't get too excitable we'll be okay.
Peter (PS3R7) [18] Yeah, you're perfect, you're loud and clear, so am I.
Anne (PS3R8) [19] So's [...] can you hear Tukuse?
Tukuse (PS3RA) [20] Yes, erm I hope [giggle]
Peter (PS3R7) [21] Tukuse the only one where you move the choker or if you speak up just a little bit.
Anne (PS3R8) [22] A little bit louder.
Tukuse (PS3RA) [23] Okay erm
Peter (PS3R7) [24] Perfect that's okay.
Tukuse (PS3RA) [25] Everybody still hears?
Peter (PS3R7) [26] Yeah Anne, yeah.
Anne (PS3R8) [27] Can you hear me?
Peter (PS3R7) [28] Yeah and I can hear myself.
[29] Right that's it.
Anne (PS3R8) [30] Right.
Susan (PS3R9) [...]
Anne (PS3R8) [31] Would you explain to us what subject you've chosen
Tukuse (PS3RA) [32] Mhm.
Anne (PS3R8) [33] and why you chose it
Tukuse (PS3RA) [34] Yes.
Anne (PS3R8) [35] and which newspapers you think, even if you haven't made a final decision
Tukuse (PS3RA) [36] Mhm.
Anne (PS3R8) [37] that you may consider using for your essay?
Tukuse (PS3RA) [38] Okay erm ... this is just ... I think this is er what we call coincidence or just er ... unplanned or ... unpredicted ... er event or happening ... one ... maybe one evening maybe I ... thought it was Friday evening, one Friday evening ... December ... er Mrs was watching television it was erm but ... normally she didn't watch television at that time, but just ... coincidence?
Anne (PS3R8) [39] No, I have been told that [...]
Tukuse (PS3RA) [40] Er she watched six o'clock news ... seven o'clock?
[41] Six o'clock news erm
Anne (PS3R8) [42] And seven o'clock and nine
Tukuse (PS3RA) [43] [laugh] yes, but normally she doesn't watch erm six o'clock news because she's cooking at six o'clock or seven o'clock.
[44] So she watched television and erm ... Princess Diana erm ... said something shocking at lunchtime at a luncheon party or lunch party and erm ... maybe just erm ten days before that Princess Diana's announcement we were told by the Register Teacher that we will have an assignment of in February and we will compare some newspapers articles and maybe she didn't explain very erm specifically but she just gave us erm the brief information about er register assignment in February and she told us that we should er we should collect some newspapers ... about the same title was about the same ... topic and ho we should compare how each newspaper treated, treats the ... er news or ... what do you call that?
Anne (PS3R8) [45] Well the news item the story, the story.
Tukuse (PS3RA) [46] Yes, the story erm ... so erm Mrs and I ... thought this will be a very exciting project if I collect the ... newspaper articles about Princess Diana ... shocking announcement.
[47] So the next day it was Sa Saturday er Saturday morning we went to Jameson er ... can I call that that shop?
Susan (PS3R9) [48] Yes Jameson yes, yes [...]
Tukuse (PS3RA) [49] Okay Jameson er Bookshop in George Street and we bought six newspapers ... tabloid, three tabloid or er three
Anne (PS3R8) [50] [...] sheet.
[51] Yes.
Tukuse (PS3RA) [52] Broadsheet.
[53] Yes [clears throat] and during the winter holidays I cut er ... cut the articles and I now, I, you can see the articles I cut during the holidays.
Anne (PS3R8) [54] Peter, would you like to talk about language register in tabloids and broadsheets?
[55] I'm just gonna see if I can find a clarity index.
Peter (PS3R7) [56] Okay.
[57] Erm [clears throat] I would ... imagine Tukuse that the [cough] the difference that you put in difference that you would get between the reportage, to use a French expression, of Princess Diana's abdication from public life ... was probably quite pronounced between say for example the Sun newspaper and the Independent newspaper ... I would imagine that the Independent newspaper probably didn't play in any great significance, it was probably on the front page, perhaps not with a picture but erm ... there was a couple of columns of report erm the Independent is famous as being the newspaper which when Prince Charles and Lady Diana got married many years ago, they reported it with a single paragraph saying Prince Charles and Diana, the whole world went made at the Royal Wedding and the Independent had one paragraph, which many people, including myself, said right on.
[58] It was, it was, it was the right thing to do.
[59] They, I think like everybody else were succumbed to the fact that readers do like to know what's going on in the Royal Family.
[60] The other end of the scale the erm Sun gets much of its [clears throat] editorial exclusives and material often running to five or six pages erm ... by covering the Royal Family erm in terms of language in that in the language used, the Sun erm ... tends to adopt a very simple writing style of one adjective erm ... sorry one verb and a number of adjectives with a couple of nouns, tends to be [...] sentence went off around ten to twelve words and [cough] the design is also quite interesting because ... they like to sort of leave things out so you have a paragraph in normal type and then a paragraph in bold with big splodges next to it to highlight it.
[61] I think the idea is that [...] Sun is that they see it as somebody's gone poof poof want to be to write quickly and they would argue that a Sun reader has a sharp attention span.
[62] My own view that Sun readers aren't stupid and that the general public isn't really a stupid erm but erm ... they enjoy reading it and they're reading for the experience of reading, getting their views and are very ... almost like, have you ever seen processed cheese slabs, you know you can buy little pieces of cheese in little wrappers that stick on your bread or your butter or your rolls and the way the Sun, the Sun newspaper's kind of like that, if you don't wanna read thirty five pages in the Independent every day, enormous amount of news terrifically written, reported for the, for the most part, you could read the Sun at a quarter of the price, [giggle] except that you don't get all the news and you also get er a different political viewpoint ... but it's one way of getting news in er ...
Anne (PS3R8) [63] But very often I think tabloid journalism is interesting in terms of language [...] because it's very punchy it's succinct because i i in some of our terms you might find people into a three minute reader and a thirty minute reader ... because in attention span and intellectual capacity are quite different ... but to actually condense something ... into meaningful short bursts, even if they are politically biased actually requires a certain amount of skill I would suspect [clears throat] the clarity index which I can't find is the process that I mentioned the other night where you take ... erm some people call it the fog index ... a ... correct me if I'm wrong in my figures, but I think it's a piece of something like two hundred or three hundred words ... you count the number of suc erm colons and full stops or is it only full stops?
Susan (PS3R9) [64] Full stops.
Anne (PS3R8) [65] Full stops.
[66] You then count the number of words of more than two syllables
Susan (PS3R9) [67] Mm.
Anne (PS3R8) [68] and then you do a division of the one into the other and you get a figure ... that is smaller in the tabloids and larger in broadsheets like The Times and The Financial Times and in periodicals like the Communist and the New Statesman.
Susan (PS3R9) [69] And it it it's called the fog index but the thing that's interesting about it is that I've got, I've got some interesting examples of fog indexes [...] erm ... and you'll get people like Churchill ... who sometimes made speeches and their fog index is quite small ... you're going to use this you know ... example and they might have a fog, fog index that's fine and what Anne and I are talking about with say something like the Telegraph or the Times or whatever, might have a fog index that people [...] but this is because Churchill was very clear, very concise ... and going back to the original point about, or some of the original points about this, and I was mak raising these issues earlier this evening ... one of the great sadnesses that I have is that, is that when I first went into journalism the tabloids as we call them ... were incredibly well written ... beautifully styled, well researched and okay they might have been punchier and shorter and everything else, compared to the turning up the [...] er the, the Times or whatever, but they were well written ... and you might have had, if you can put the fog index test, test on it you might have had a fog index of say six or seven compared to eleven on the Telegraph story, but it was still full of clarity [...] [door creak] like to read.
[70] Over the last twenty years or so, one of the things that's slipped has been those kind of things and I believe ... and Peter may disagree with me, but a lot of the [...] have been because of the commercial fact ... that the thing [phone rings] that is now driving the newspapers more than anything else is, is the advertising and advertising revenues and that drives the style of newspapers and stories that are written.
[71] I suppose [sigh] one of the things I use to demonstrate it most clearly is that for many years I s I gave lectures on communications and one of the things I used to say in those lectures was I did not know, and I was stressing that sense what came first ... if newspapers write stories in a particular way, because that is what the public wanted ... or do public want a particular type of story and that's that newspapers round-up and I stopped posing that question when Rupert Murdoch bought the Melbourne Sun ... because Rupert Murdoch bought the Melbourne Sun and introduced a lot of sex-type stories ... you know stories about brothels and madames whipping people and goodness knows what else and the sales rocketed ... and there we had almost a captive example of change in the design of [...] change in the type of stories that were written and people, people were buying it ... and so you have an issue of you know that your content was actually being [...] by what your readership wanted.
[72] So that answers all those years that I have been conducting these seminars, it answers my question ... not in the way I was particularly happy about I have to say, but I mean it did answer my question ... and then it may be them ... having you know I mean like sort of things I may not be particularly happy with, but maybe it is good that the papers are reflecting what the community wants.
[73] Maybe my unhappiness is more about [...] wants
Peter (PS3R7) [74] [clears throat] But in a sense I mean I can erm ... I mean I agree with everything you've said, erm but er ... when Murdoch took over the Sun I mean the Sun was selling, at one point was selling about four million copies which is
Susan (PS3R9) [75] Someone else [...] Melbourne [...]
Peter (PS3R7) [76] Okay, yeah I, I, I, I appreciate that, but I mean I would erm ... basically say that the less [...] Melbourne Sun.
Susan (PS3R9) [...]
Peter (PS3R7) [77] Well probably, not [...] that he went and it would of we subsequently we apply much [...] to the U K erm
Susan (PS3R9) [78] [...] to know anyway.
Peter (PS3R7) [79] But I mean I, I, I'm ... I'm guessing, I'm assuming, I'm not sure he did, but I have seen erm when I was in Edinburgh studying communications, if you work in the Sun which was erm a broadsheet for Murdoch on it.
Susan (PS3R9) [...]
Peter (PS3R7) [80] Yeah and we've seen some [...] different erm they had I think it was actually waiver paper as well when Murdoch bought it, and for a while he honoured the political content and then he decided he was gonna do major changes, and this may all sound [laughing] familiar [] to you but erm ... the effect that that had I mean not only on the, on the, on the [...] end up being this side, but also on erm the Mirror because it meant that Page Three Girls were in on the Daily Record in Scotland erm ... it was, it was quite profound I mean there's a broader argument here as to whether you ... you should get pampered to those possible denominator to taste erm ... it's interesting that the Daily Sport and the Sunday Sport which are two ... I don't know if they have anything like it in Japan, but they're a bit like the National Enquirer erm ... it's all ... made up baseball ... there's a sad proportion of erm ... journalist stories [giggle] of fantasy land stuff erm ... along with erm photographic content and er copy content which probably
Anne (PS3R8) [81] It's fiction not fact [...]
Peter (PS3R7) [82] verges on the sort of porn as well yeah.
[83] I mean like I saw a double-decker bus on the moon and that sort of stuff.
Susan (PS3R9) [84] Mm.
Peter (PS3R7) [85] You know an and I met Elvis at the chip shop and [laughing] that stuff, I mean it's []
Susan (PS3R9) [86] Anyway it's fiction.
Peter (PS3R7) [87] Anyway it's fiction erm ... basically I mean for me there's two issues, one do you pamper to the worst possible taste erm ... and two ... erm ... is the Sun the face of newspapers to come er
Anne (PS3R8) [...]
Peter (PS3R7) [88] It's that one.
[89] I mean [...]
Anne (PS3R8) [90] But newspapers essentially are [...] [paper rustling]
Peter (PS3R7) [91] Four million copies of that I mean that makes it I think [...] most popular with newspapers I mean
Susan (PS3R9) [92] I mean I, I was quite fascinated having lunch one day with a journ a Melbourne journalist ... erm and this was about six months after Murdoch had taken over the Melbourne Sun [...] all this ... and we were chatting away and I actually threw in the stuff which [...] were saying about how papers are there to make profits these days ... so that's what drives them and that journalists ... journalists on newspapers such as Murdoch's papers, write what they're supposed to write and she and I got quite out of with one another and ... and ... the bottom liner was that she, she absolutely totally and utterly denied what we were saying ... and I said to her okay ... if you were given a story to write ... you know and it was opposite to how you would view it, what would you do and she said oh well I, I would have to write it ... and the issue with the Murdoch papers and it's quite interesting because I mean I'm sure you can [...] with other newspapers but I, I've just got a bit more [...] is that Murdoch never ever writes a minute or a memo to his editor or staff saying this is what the line is ... ever.
[93] He never writes a memo saying ... you know we are supporting or attacking this government as about this election campaign, never, but journalists know what his view is ... and they write in a code with that view ... and if they didn't they would quickly find out where they should be ... and it would not be working for one of those newspapers ... and the thing that's quite perverse about it is the [...] .
[94] First of all he will have one newspaper running one line and another newspaper running another ... This is something that's quite fascinating they came over
Peter (PS3R7) [95] Today's
Anne (PS3R8) [96] We have two quite different publications
Peter (PS3R7) [97] That is owned by the same stable if you like, it's a publisher and it's the Sun.
Anne (PS3R8) [98] Oh
Peter (PS3R7) [99] I think I am right in saying.
[100] Yeah er if you, what was on tonight was er on the, there was a T V programme on tonight called What the Papers Say and the editor Alistaire Campbell was on tonight, he is actually quite left-wing and this paper will, is actually quite vehement about the government, much more than the Sun would ever be, it's quite interesting, yet that is owned by Murdoch, but I have to say that I think that is only because Murdoch isn't liked in that way since [...] to have
Susan (PS3R9) [101] [...] about Murdoch the Australian inverted commas because [...] that his, he was, I mean when I first, I, I don't know the man ... but when I first knew about him in Australia he was a [...] he supported the Labour government's election in ... in Australia.
[102] What has happened with him since, since he became more of a ... big newspaper owner, is he shifted from that and he has been known to support a Labour government in Australia and a Tory government in Britain at the same time and George Bush in the United States while supporting Keating or Bob Hawk in Australia.
[103] I mean he's been known to do that because he [...] you know what is going to happen with him ... commercially in his newspapers and he's actually very clever and I mean none of us ... I mean okay and I think Peter might be the [...] but I can get quite upset or intense or distressed or whatever the word is about that sort of stuff, because I am ... my background is journalism ... and I'm quite pure about it, but we're living in reality times here ... and the reality times is that he has got certain agendas.
[104] He's not Robinson Crusoe, there are other old newspaper owners [...] so he will say okay the government in Australia is doing ... what I like, therefore my newspapers or usually most of my newspapers, in fact one or two of them won't, will support that government ... and that government can be totally different [...] one in the United States where in the Washington Post or you know in the New York Post or whatever will go and attack or support because he thinks it's in the less interest that his commercial interest and the U S because he sees us doing the same thing there.
[105] You go to Singapore where he has interests, you go to Hungary where he has interests, you go to different parts of the Europe where has interests and then you go to Britain where he has interests and you can [...] [paper rustling] and so what we're talking about here really I mean that's [...] we're talking here of commercial interest.
[106] You see we're not talking of newspapers as we probably [...] traditionally known, we're talking commercial interest.
Anne (PS3R8) [107] The language register of the broadsheets ... will be more sedate, more steady.
[108] It may be highly critical that the actual language will be completely different in the register.
Susan (PS3R9) [109] Yes.
Anne (PS3R8) [110] The tabloids will go for brevity and sensationalism.
[111] They will go for vocabulary which is highly charged with imagery and emotion.
Susan (PS3R9) [112] Mm.
Anne (PS3R8) [113] The others will chip in if they agree, but they will ... they are, they are wanting to set a missile to move, they're wanting to send a bullet, they are wanting to s to evoke emotion or anger or rage or frustration or political bias or to change attitudes now for example the interesting thing about the Princess Diana erm the headline on one of those tabloids which talks about exile ... is I suspect that they want to evoke the constitutional crisis which there was at the time of ...
Susan (PS3R9) [114] Edward.
Anne (PS3R8) [115] Edward and Wallace Simpson, because Edward abdicated in order to marry a divorced American and so they then went to live in exile and he was eventually, after he died he was buried in Britain, but ... Wallace Simpson, or the Duchess of Windsor or as she then was ...
Tukuse (PS3RA) [116] Did she get divorced?
Anne (PS3R8) [117] She did.
Susan (PS3R9) [118] Mm.
Anne (PS3R8) [119] [...] funeral
Susan (PS3R9) [120] There was a special dispensation given to her to attend and in fact there were photographs at the time with the Queen with her.
Anne (PS3R8) [121] Yes.
Susan (PS3R9) [122] But I mean it was the [...] story to run that while sh the Queen was with her it was a [...] it was not war erm ... I mean a, a, a whole part of [...] story like
Anne (PS3R8) [123] Do you think that's reasonable about the ex the use of the word exile?
Susan (PS3R9) [124] I think I
Anne (PS3R8) [125] Absolutely to reach the historical crises
Susan (PS3R9) [126] [...] some some extra layers on this, I mean I think that's very valid and the extra layers include er one, the fact that since then there have been a number of royals who have divorced and so it is not unique for royals to be divorced and the Church of England has not jumped up and down about the fact that there are royals who are divorced ... [police sirens] particularly given that the, you know the Church of England are opposed to divorce.
[127] The second issue is the fact that Charles is the head [...] Church of England.
[128] This is a really major issue, because I mean he, there would be a situation where the person who would be Head of the Church of England would be a divorcee ... of a church which does not believe in divorce.
Anne (PS3R8) [129] And divorce is or sorry, remarriage is not allowed for members of the Anglican Church.
Tukuse (PS3RA) [130] How about divorce?
Anne (PS3R8) [131] They er well I think constitutionally it's very difficult and this is why there is now in a similar sense as why I suggested it to you as a subject, because not only ... it was er a very emotional story of a glamorous young woman saying I can't cope with being treated by the media and other people, I'm going to retreat ... but what made it so historic and therefore the treatment of it's so interesting, was that it presented such an extraordinary constitutional position
Susan (PS3R9) [132] That's right
Anne (PS3R8) [133] for us here in Britain.
Susan (PS3R9) [134] because as long as they don't divorce, theoretically when Charles becomes King [...] his queen
Peter (PS3R7) [...]
Susan (PS3R9) [135] and therefore you can have a situation where, I mean if the Queen is there for another twenty years say, say the situation in twenty years time where you have king on throne and a queen who have not lived together for thirty years or whatever years ... and you know still playing out this ... [...]
Anne (PS3R8) [136] The other interesting thing you would find about vocabulary and treatment between the tabloids and the Independent is the Independent has a policy of very little coverage of the Royal Family and I suspect that other than a paragraph or a sentence or two of introduction, that those four paragraphs at the foot of the page are simply the text of her speech ... courtiers and media blamed as the Princess retreats from public life, I suspect that you will find that that is not a story, it is simply a statement of fact and an actual reprint of the text of her speech.
[137] I think you will find there are no observation, no overtones, no emotion, no judgment.
[138] What happens with the language about the rest of these is that they are making judgments ...
Susan (PS3R9) [139] Yes, that's right but though I mean there are a couple of additional issues to that and that is that the ... the tabloid [...] are pandering, is that the right word [...] pandering to their collective view of what the Royal Family should be, a view that is probably ... wrong.
Anne (PS3R8) [140] [laughing] they're pandering to [] ghoulish voyeurism.
Susan (PS3R9) [141] Well there's that I mean there's all, there's a whole range of things, there's ghoulish voyeurism right, I mean that that's important, there's also the way the Royals have been peddled by the media over the decades and the fact that you know this has been how they've been tendered this is what they actually are ... and that y you, you know what I'm saying that erm [...] or whatever it is between this is what they are, this is what we've been [...] and they don't match, they really don't match.
[142] I mean sexy little telephone calls between he who will be king and his, is she a mistress, is she a girlfriend, is she merely a friend, but at any event she's married and her husband's in the next bedroom as far as we can gather, you know erm do those kind of conversations and would, I mean maybe it's important to sort of say and Anne probably has this, but Peter might not, I mean when I grew up the Royal Family were a cert sort of image ... and you might have known about George the Third who was mad, I mean who else was brought up George the Third was mad and Geor an and this guy was a, a drunk and this guy was a ... a womaniser, this guy was this, but Victoria you know mourned for sixty years or whatever it was, but this Royal Family, I E the, the Royal Family with which I grew up and Anne did were really sweet nice little Windsors who behaved themselves ... and that was what was, went into our psychic and there was the odd crack about Phil the Great who's the Queen's husband, you know and how he perhaps had an eye for the ladies, but there was never any photographs of him being [...] or any evidence that it might have gone further than that particular [...] and basically there was, that any, there was the fact that he was a sailor when he married the Queen anyway so all sailors are like that aren't they!
[143] But then here we are twenty thirty years on and those of us who had that upbringing about the purity of that Royal Family that's suddenly been confronted with this image that's anything but that and you know and I'm, and I, and it's been and now you have the tabloids ... saying ... giving you pictorial evidence of its any, any but that and so that whole erm image, view that a lot of Britons grew up with has gone, it's been [...]
Anne (PS3R8) [144] But, but, but the whole social and cultural ... revolution evolution change has led I think to ... whole different schisms in the press which perhaps may have existed in some of the very one might almost say near communist publication like the [...]
Susan (PS3R9) [145] Daily Worker.
Anne (PS3R8) [146] Daily Worker ... whereas the now the immediacy of telecommunications and the immediacy of print
Susan (PS3R9) [147] Mm
Anne (PS3R8) [148] are that this is ... transmitted throughout the world within minutes of being spoken so you have the monarchy which has tried to make itself populist, has actually made its language much more populist.
[149] If you listen sometimes to speeches made by the Royal Family now, they are not necessarily ... to my mind ... and er this is this difficulty of the sort of humanity and effemininity of the Duchess of York and the Princess of Wales who tried I think, both of them, to do a phenomenal amount of public work with different levels of success and different levels of coverage.
Peter (PS3R7) [150] Don't agree I think er
Anne (PS3R8) [151] But oh Peter's been a a a all, all for self-indulgence to create their own image for their own purpose.
Peter (PS3R7) [152] I think they had a jolly good time at the taxpayer's expense, I [...] but I won't be [...] [giggle]
Anne (PS3R8) [153] It's
Susan (PS3R9) [154] But I think I mean I think that
Anne (PS3R8) [155] So they have they have in fact embarked on a course which now lets these newspapers ... really deliver them up on a plate I mean they can fry them, they can bake them, they can grill them, they can roast them because they've put themselves in a position where they now deserve the criticism and the level of imagery which they're getting.
[156] For example if you go back to say ... Queen Victoria and Queen Mary ... and one of my former bosses was a godchild of Queen Mary and I mean he simply said to me talking not long ago about one of the [...] nobody ... i people didn't behave like that at court ... so they've really asked for everything they've got.
Susan (PS3R9) [157] I think there's probably a strong view about that.
[158] I mean it's interesting I mean I, I made all those comments earlier about and I mean Peter he might disagree with them, but what I think is how we view the Royals as we were all growing up.
Anne (PS3R8) [159] But if my kid comes off a pedestal, the language comes off the pedestal too.
Susan (PS3R9) [160] Absolutely now I mean i i it's interesting for women because I suppose ... [sigh] in Australia I was a Republican and here I suppose I thought I saw about two erm now for me to have used that word ... thirty years ago I would possibly have been locked in the garden shed and left without food and drink
Peter (PS3R7) [giggle]
Susan (PS3R9) [161] erm ... I suspect [...] a few members of family [...]
Peter (PS3R7) [162] To be a social worker was shit yeah.
Susan (PS3R9) [163] That's right.
Peter (PS3R7) [164] You'd be there six o'clock gone mate.
Susan (PS3R9) [165] Wonderful.
Peter (PS3R7) [laugh]
Susan (PS3R9) [166] I suspect now that you know I mean I they might still to move given to one or two of my family members, but basically I could more openly say ... you know that in fact ... I suppose my view in Britain but not in Australia but my view in Britain is okay, the Royal Family could continue to exist they must A pay taxes B I don't genuflect to any of them and C we've gotta put them in perspective they're in which is they're a tourist attraction erm ... you know but I and I can make those comments which would be met by a lot of Britons with hostility, people who would totally disagree with me and say well they are the Royals and you know bow, bow, bow, but others would agree with me and that is something that has changed over the last three decades it really has, it's changed during, during my absence in Australia, it is something you know that I came back to and I mean I kept, I've been back about three or four weeks and there's a pro I mean there's some delightful radio programmes here ... comedy, political comedy shows and there was one show I listened to and I had been back a couple of weeks and it was about ... erm ... the Queen had a P R issue and she had to sort of do something about it, so she decided they'd have a public execution of Edward ... and they described Edward was a cream puff and they the Queen and ... and er ... Andrew and everybody else was on the balcony at er Buck House and the crowds are cheering and the [...] rolled and the ... the execution.
[167] Now I cannot concede that programme going on the air when I was [...] to Melbourne.
[168] Cannot concede that it had been possible and neither will shift in how we communicate and view the place of the Royals in our society and what the [...] are and how those P R shifts [...] a phrase in terms of let's make ourselves more public, let's make ourselves more accessible, have resulted in that because their very [...] their very accessibility is the [...] those kind of radio programmes to happen.
[169] It just wouldn't have happened I mean [...]
Peter (PS3R7) [170] But I wa
Susan (PS3R9) [171] I was shocked.
[172] I listened to it I was shocked, not because of the content, but because of the happening of it and the realization of how Britain had changed.
Anne (PS3R8) [173] You see one of the other interesting things is that there is a ... essentially a tradition in this country that the Royal Family do not sue newspapers
Susan (PS3R9) [174] Yes.
Anne (PS3R8) [175] for libel.
[176] There are various exceptions erm ... and there have been two or three in recent years, but it therefore meant that they were fair game for saying anything ... so they were fair game for a very sensational headline ... because there was very little chance of recrimination.
Susan (PS3R9) [177] Mm.
Anne (PS3R8) [178] Now the view er was that they were dignified and above taking action ... and also in the sense that the public was credited I think with more sense than to believe everything ... and that the public memory is relatively short and therefore if you start a court action and you then have coverage in the court action, you are merely making the thing ... worse ... erm sometimes the things that some people may have thought were highly actionable one day, become almost a joke and something of affection later on and you can, one of the classics maybe is about the Prince of Wales talking to his plants, now that a national joke and he will make jokes about it in speeches
Susan (PS3R9) [179] Mm.
Anne (PS3R8) [180] and it's become [...] of the exchange of, of, of talk and of media erm ... but what else do we say about language register and vocabulary?
[181] Length of words
Tukuse (PS3RA) [182] Oh yes.
Anne (PS3R8) [183] Erm
Tukuse (PS3RA) [184] You mean so w
Peter (PS3R7) [185] Shorter
Unknown speaker (J40PSUNK) [laugh]
Anne (PS3R8) [186] Yeah, not physical length of words.
[187] Now in a sentence in the Independent and the Times and other periodicals you would find there are more words of three and four syllables than in the tabloids, but that gets back to the clarity index again.
Susan (PS3R9) [188] That's right
Anne (PS3R8) [189] But it's not just necessarily the number that there are, it a it's the whole type of vocabulary, the whole register.
Peter (PS3R7) [190] Also I think you'd find that the erm er although, now I'm suggesting you do this, but if you went through the Independent and you counted the erm number of different words the total vocabulary, I think you'd find it's many many many many many many many times bigger than the
Susan (PS3R9) [191] That's right
Peter (PS3R7) [192] I'm not sure, but I think when I studied this in college I think it was something like the average of [...] producers of vocabulary of less than two thousand words.
Susan (PS3R9) [193] Mm.
Anne (PS3R8) [194] So if you have [...]
Susan (PS3R9) [195] [...] sorry.
Peter (PS3R7) [196] Er we're talking nineteen eighty, eighty two I was there so it ten year ten fourteen years.
Anne (PS3R8) [197] Do you think it would be greater now?
Susan (PS3R9) [198] No, no actually no, not at all.
Peter (PS3R7) [laugh]
Susan (PS3R9) [199] Erm the reason I'm asking is because I suspect it would have been greater at the time I was talking about all the [...] ago though.
[200] I think that that is, is something that you know we looked at the [...] you know the Mirror that you know while thirty years ago they were doing short punchy stories and they maintained that, that there was actually ...
Anne (PS3R8) [201] A wider range of vocabulary
Susan (PS3R9) [202] a wider range of vocabulary and, and, and a greater intellectual depth to it and you know I'm, I, I, I actually almost feel tempted to ... to get some of the files out and look and make sure I'm not wrong if you, you know what I mean?
Peter (PS3R7) [203] It would be quite interesting [...]
Susan (PS3R9) [204] I mean I think
Peter (PS3R7) [laugh]
Susan (PS3R9) [205] I mean I think you'll find that erm ... that there was an amaz you know I mean that, that while the language might have been simple ... it wasn't simplistic ... and, but the change in a ... in a way now is [...] around.
Peter (PS3R7) [206] Yeah.
Susan (PS3R9) [207] Do you know, do you know, am I being clear about that?
Peter (PS3R7) [208] Yeah
Tukuse (PS3RA) [209] Yes
Anne (PS3R8) [210] But there are, we've got, I've got three books for you to, to look at for you to do with your project and I might try and find you one or two sentences and references.
[211] One, the good, bad the ... the good, the bad and the unacceptable.
Tukuse (PS3RA) [212] Mhm.
Peter (PS3R7) [213] One called shock horror and the tabloids in action ... and one called power without responsibility ... because I think you could perhaps make in fact the, the taste that ... in terms of circulation ... the tabloids actually have the power to influence significantly to in int influence public attitudes ... so but how they exercise that power is without responsibility.
[214] The other thing there is the evidence from the Law Society in England to the committee appointed by the government to look into the question of press self-regulation which has quite a lot to do obviously with privacy for everybody, but also
Peter (PS3R7) [...]
Anne (PS3R8) [215] refers to
Unknown speaker (J40PSUNK) [...]
Peter (PS3R7) [216] privacy of the Royal Family, public figures.
[217] There is a question as to whether [...] public life, she'd be treated differently erm and also whether in fact journalist [...] by not being able to do things that other people can do if they're not writing a newspaper.
[218] Does that help you do you think?
[219] Any questions you want to ask us?
Tukuse (PS3RA) [220] Erm ... so far I don't.
Peter (PS3R7) [221] Well
Anne (PS3R8) [222] Peter was doing a thing about counting words.
Susan (PS3R9) [223] These are just, are just [...]
Peter (PS3R7) [224] For for fourteen er years ago when I studied erm communications at [...] one of the things he said was the Sun [...] paragraph would be short [...] short of twenty words, whereas the tabloids would probably [...] qualities they er full size papers would probably be longer, but interestingly enough ... the [...] this introduction ... the introduction of the story about Princess Diana in the Sun is the same length as introduction about the story of Princess Diana in the Independent.
[225] Same way, one of the words about [...] I mean I'll just read it to you.
[226] See if you can tell which one is which, it's an interesting test.
[227] [cough] [reading] The Princess of Wales yesterday dramatically announced the curtailing of her official duties, widely interpreted as [...] but with complete withdrawal from public []
Susan (PS3R9) [228] I would say that was in the Independent.
Peter (PS3R7) [229] Yeah.
[230] Yeah.
[231] Yeah it is [...] this is how the Sun did it.
Susan (PS3R9) [232] How does the Sun do it?
Peter (PS3R7) [233] [reading] Close to tears and her voice quaking with emotion []
Susan (PS3R9) [laugh] [...]
Peter (PS3R7) [234] Excuse me I have to say [reading] Princess Diana yesterday stunned the world [...] [laugh] announcing that she is to quit public life [] .
[235] I have to admit I quite like this [...] that's punchy, that's punchy, straight to the point and I think er you know it's [laughing] quaking with emotion [] .
Tukuse (PS3RA) [236] Can you say the Independent's [...] for?
Peter (PS3R7) [237] They are they, they, they are, they're more, they're a more authoritative newspaper erm the Sun has more passion
Susan (PS3R9) [238] [...] more information I mean this is, I mean this is part of what I was talk [...] mythology I mean we're talking about the [...] index survey so when I raised the example of Churchill and the Churchill ex example is, was a good one ... because I mean he was an intellectual in his way, you know I mean he was a big bright cookie ... and but his [...] was [...] in terms of word count because he had a [...] use of words ... for the way he used his words was ... how ordinary people would understand him I mean if you go back to you know we will fight them on the beaches and everything else I mean you think of the number of syllables he used in those words etcetera, etcetera I mean that's sort of what I'm getting to I mean he had his sharp succinct approach you know [...]
Anne (PS3R8) [239] Yes he had I think he had an intuition and an instinct and a feel for ... the common man.
Peter (PS3R7) [240] He would have made he would have made a good Sun journalist.
Anne (PS3R8) [241] The man, the man [...] who's the man or the man in the street ... and he had that ... empathy ... which allowed him to
Susan (PS3R9) [242] And, and I mean I, I, I'm making I'm mak I'm deliberately making these points because he is viewed as someone who perhaps wouldn't have been a Sun type but more of a, a Telegraph type or whatever, but when you've analyzed his, his words and his speeches and everything else ... in terms of what we're talking about the tabloids or broadsheets or whatever, you know he would, his language would have fitted in more neatly to the tabloid style than the ... the Telegraph style.
[243] I think it's a very wonderful thing [...] I mean I regard him as a warmonger [...] World War Two by his eighteen month [...] should have been