Monday, September 14, 2009

ZenTiger School Girls and Michael Laws

Some school girls were very angry with Wanganui Michael Laws. So they poked him with a stick. They said things like "I am angry with your ability to challenge this serious subject." and "I am a child from the Otaki school, whom is very angry with what you are saying." Whom indeed.

He was accused of theft: "We as Maori strongly advise you to put the letter 'h' back.

Another student pointed out the historical precedent: "As you are the mayor of Whanganui (sic) you need to uphold the Treaty of Waitangi by ensuring the change is made to the name."

The student was of course speaking of the mythical 4th article of the Treaty of Whaitangi that many believe exists. It mandates use of the letter H in all New Zhealand place names, as well as other provisions, such as the letter a at the end of all sentences, e.g. "You going to Whellington, a?

Paula Bennett, Minister for Social Development and Employment and quite appropriately, Youth Affairs, has come to the unexpected aid of the Wanganui H stealer, Mayor Miceal Laws. Ms Bennett released the marks these students received for the last three spelling tests, and all marks were allegedly well below the NCEA rank of "comparable to their peers" which is a mark of about 50% on the old system.

The media congratulated Paula for turning the tables on these young politicos, something National thinks they should expect if they enter the political domain. Said Bennett: "It's interesting that they are accusing Mr Laws and most of Wanganui of being unable to spell, when, according to our government database, they themselves confuse the future and past participles and struggle with proper nouns.

In reply to the students Mr Laws suggested their teacher be sacked for prompting them. "Rubbish", responded their teacher. "Whomever is accusing me of this makes me quite angry, especially with ones ability to challenge this serious subject. As a teacher from the Otaki school, whom is very careful not to lead the children, I confirm they are expressing the views of whomever they choose, which is theirs. (or theres or is it they's?)"

With the fight to add an h to Wanganui, some people are puzzled that the battle has been launched by students. Most of them now only communicate via text, and in txt speak, Wanganui is written simply as w.

Said one student. "tbh, idc. w or wh tmlnae - bfd" which translates as "To be honest, I don't care. Wanganui or Whanganui the most ludicrous non-abbreviation ever - big fricken deal."

BFD indeed.

Michael Laws accused of treating students as he treats adults

Michael Laws owes us an apology - only we can be angry and get away with it

The Wikipedia: SMS Language Guide

Put Up Thy Sword: A racist decision

Some prefer to focus solely on Laws

Important Note:
The views expressed in this post are not necessarily the views I might express in a different post about the importance of good manners.

Also, to my knowledge, Paula Bennett didn't really publish the school marks of these students, who (AFAIK) have not failed any spelling tests. Although, I'm obviously still not quite over the last time Ms Bennet tried this trick and was wondering if the public would treat this example with as much approval.

Finally, this isn't really about the students. They've been used as a political football by others to attack Michael Laws.

2 comment(s):

Lucia Maria said...

I'd just like to add that I think "a" should be spelt, "ai". That way it is clear as to the pronunciation. For "a" could be pronounced "ah" or "eh", and likewise "ay" could be pronounced "aye", leading to confusion.

I wonder how if the h-adders pronounce the h as haitch or eitch ... there's another battle if they manage to get it added.

Not sure why I added this comment - I think I have nothing better to do right now. Oh yeah, should be making dinner ...

ZenTiger said...

And if it had been eh? it might have been Canadian.

NZC, discussing the big issues.

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