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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The PM can’t speak

A key characteristic of a good public speaker is pronunciation. So I am intrigued by the lack of pronunciation by none other than the Prime Minister of New Zealand, or as he would say Nu Zilund.  I am even more fascinated by the level of influence his poor pronunciation has had in his cabinet by those who try to emulate the PM’s pronunciation in interviews. To provide examples I have linked a video journal made by the PM at from which I picked up a number of his pronunciation errors in the first 5 minutes.

  1. It’s not nu and it’s not new-nique to Nu Zealund  (It’s not new and it’s not unique to New Zealand) I must give him credit for pronouncing the ‘ea’
  2. Problee (Probably)
  3. Intrish-rates (Interest rates)
  4. Borra-from the bank (Borrow from the bank)
  5. They-illend (They’ll  lend)
  6. Austray-l-yah (Australia)
  7. Infa-strucksha (infrastructure)
  8. Wea consinnering (We’re considering)
I acknowledge that there are probably times when we are all prone to be a little lazy with our speech, most notably when intoxicated, but this is the PM addressing his constituents, and arguably, the nation on housing affordability. 

It irritated me at first, but I'm finding it hilarious that others would allow their own pronunciation standards to deteriorate, to emulate a man often slurs his words together in a not too dissimilar way to an intoxicated person.