Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wanna buy a vowel?

TVNZ apparently needed to.

TVNZ (Television New Zealand) recently ran an ad campaign on TV2 for their programmes on the channel using the abbreviated language of “txt” messages, like “TON” for 'tonight' and “TMW” for tomorrow. People were not amused.

According to Stuff, the broadcaster was forced to change course after a groundswell of opposition: Some 6,000 people joined Facebook group “I hate TV2's new abbreviations”, and online articles or blog posts on the subject have attracted hundreds of negative comments (including the story linked to above).

In perhaps the funniest thing I’ve heard a corporate spokesperson say, TVNZ’s Megan Richards said: "We have learned… that vowels are extremely important to New Zealanders."

Even after all these years, I still learn something new about my adopted country.

A Tip o’ the Hat to fellow American-expat-in-Auckland, Nik, who provided a link to this story on his blog.


d said...

Hilarious! Especially since there are so many abbreviations here (pressie, mossie, 'dub dub dub')!

migratingfishswim said...

I'm an utter grammar fascict, love language and adore good spelling.

But... I also love having fun with language and see that language changes with time.

So I'm ok with it!

Maybe it could be phased in gradually, so people who aren't into texting culture can be brought along too.

Roger Owen Green said...

dn't knw wht y'r tlkng bt.

liminalD said...

Personally, while I enjoy language being played with a bit, I hated seeing it on our screens, and particularly on the oldies channel... dunno why ;)

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

D: Yes, but all those abbreviations you mention have plenty of vowels… ;-)

migratingfishswim: Every place I've worked I've been the self-declared Head of the Apostrophe Posse (among other grammatical sins). It seems as if most of the complaints came from a younger demographic, people who have absolutely no objection to "txt" language as such. I think it's purely a matter of context (see below).

Roger: Tx 4 th thot.

liminalD: I find that fascinating—the whole context thing seems to matter for a lot of people. After all, one of the biggest complaint sites was Facebook. I don't watch much on TV2 (actually, I can't think of anything off the top of my head), so I never saw the ads. If I had, though, I think I may have felt the same as you about it.