Saturday, 28 March 2015

Unimaginable, Unthinkable, Bewildering…

Readers might like to look again at yesterday’s post about Angela Merkel’s reaction to the aeroplane crash, in particular at the two comments below it. ‘Peter’ (he does not give his full name) confirms what I should have suspected all along: the BBC got it wrong. Merkel didn’t say ‘Unimaginable’; she didn’t even say the equivalent German word. (The usually reliable Pons/Schöffler-Weis English-German dictionary gives ‘Un(aus)denkbar’ for ‘Unimaginable’, but my limited German suggests that means rather ‘Unthinkable’). Peter tells us what she did in fact say, and I have replied to what he (mostly quite fairly) says.

My excuse is that I was brought up to believe the BBC to be truthful and reliable in its news reports. Old habits die hard, and I fear I must temporarily have forgotten that the BBC has eagerly embraced the fashion for ‘Dumbing-down’ and is, more and more, run by semi-literate philistines. I apologise for taking them at their word.

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