Monday, 23 April 2018

More than a Liddle ignorant

I didn’t find the original piece by Rod Liddle about the renaming of the Second Severn Crossing particularly offensive or insulting – just plain ignorant.  And, as he promised that he would in response to the complaints made against him, he repeated his assault on what he sees as the tendency of Welsh words to be vowel-free again this week.  But the idea that because English has only 5 vowels, other languages can also only have five vowels is a very anglo-centric view of the issue, showing an ignorance not just of the Welsh language but of the way in which languages can and do vary - and, incidentally, of the English language as well.
Welsh words, given that we have seven vowels available to us, may well look strange to one steeped in the traditional English definition of a vowel, but there is a real problem from his perspective.  Whilst I can think of no Welsh words which are actually vowel-free based on the Welsh definition of a vowel, I can think of a huge range of English words which don’t have a vowel to share between them (think: try, fly, myth, hymn, my, flyby…), based on his narrow primary-school definition of a vowel.  How on earth does he manage to pronounce them?


Anonymous said...

I must disagree, I found the piece by Rod Liddle about the renaming of the Second Severn Crossing offensive. He does, we must remind ourselves, have an awful lot of previous. Having left the Labour Party, he is by now, an unapologetic right-wing British imperialist racist. Anyone who does not conform to his ultra-conservative UKIP/Brexit world-view is deemed fair game.
Just look at his track record. In December 2009, on his Spectator blog, Liddle declared that, ‘The overwhelming majority of street crime, knife crime, gun crime, robbery and crimes of sexual violence in London is carried out by young men from the African-Caribbean community. In November 2011, he suggested the trial of two men accused (and later convicted) of murdering Stephen Lawrence would not be fair.
In January 2012, Liddle claimed that many people in the UK were ‘pretending to be disabled’ in his column for The Sun. His hatred of women is also well documented. That is why of course he contemptuously referred to Leanne in his bridge article as ‘that Plaid Cymru woman who is always on Question Time’.
And do you recall, that on 5 May 2005, he was arrested for common assault against his girlfriend, Alicia Monckton, who was 20 weeks pregnant at the time? He admitted the offence and accepted a police caution.
Rod Liddle hates everything that we in Plaid stand for. He hates our culture and our language. He hates our radical politics. He hates immigrants. He detests multiculturalism. But far more frightening is his view of women and the disabled.
Such views must not be ignored. They must be challenged.

John Dixon said...

Of course, you're entitled to disagree with me and find the piece offensive. And my failure to find one piece offensive doesn't mean that I haven't found some of his other comments in the past offensive.

But be careful about using all his undoubted 'previous' as a factor in determining the degree of offensiveness of his latest purported crime. There is a good reason why the justice system doesn't allow previous behaviour to be taken into account in determining guilt, only in determining sentence.

Using past behaviour as evidence strikes me as being not unlike the UK Government's basis for declaring Russia guilty of the Salisbury poisoning. It's reason for being highly suspicious, but not proof of guilt.

As for me, I didn't like the tone nor the sheer ignorance on which his comments were based, but life is short and there are far worse things than an ignorant assault on a perceived lack of vowels to get upset about.

Anonymous said...

What annoyed me, John was not the ignorant comment regarding vowels and the language in general, but that the bridge connects our country with the "first world". If this was an isolated incident, an exception, just ignore it. However, having lived in England for years, this seems to be the consensus.