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Editing and meaning re ABC cuts

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President on 22 November 2014

While it is a really important issue, the recent cuts to budgets for the ABC and SBS are probably not core business for ETAQ. Nevertheless, I thought English teachers would be interested in how quite small editing changes in a text can affect meaning. I had a version of the letter below on this topic published in The Courier-Mail of Saturday 22 November 2014. Underlined words were deleted and the ones in brackets inserted. The paper's heading for a collection of four letters was "Sense of extravagance at ABC in need of pruning". It goes without saying that the choice of that heading is interesting in itself.

ABC cuts and Tony Abbott's word

Irrespective (Regardless) of the extent to which they might or might not be justified, the ABC (funding) cuts show (to me) that the Prime Minister was prepared to lie to the Australian people (voters) to boost the chances of a Coalition election victory.

(As a result, I believe) all of his future pronouncements should be interpreted in that light.

Quibbling by (Communications Minister) Malcolm Turnbull notwithstanding, thousands (of people) took Tony Abbott at his word on this issue and are now entitled to feel betrayed.

Garry Collins

Author: Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President
About: Garry Collins was ETAQ President from mid July 2005 to 15 March 2014. He taught English in state high schools for around 35 years and now tutors in English curriculum courses in the School of Education at the University of Queensland.
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