Spinning ... and crashing

I must confess to having laughed once or twice at some of the things Matt Witters has said, and in his column in Wales on Sunday today he more than doubled his score. He said:

... but still, it's better than the royal coverage people have been getting in the United States.

Take Atlanta's WSBTV, which sought to enlighten its viewers about the blushing couple's marital home of Anglesey.

"Despite the majority of Welsh speakers living in the southern areas of Wales, the bulk of the language's authors and poets come from Anglesey," it reported, pointing out that speaking Welsh "goes hand in hand with being a Welsh separatist".

What's more, if you wonder where Welsh people's names are from, most apparently tend to "adopt one's region as a surname". Yee-ha!

Wales on Sunday, 1 May 2011

I thought I'd take a look at the article itself, and this is what it actually said:

Despite the majority of Welsh speakers living in the southern areas of Wales, the bulk of the language's authors and poets come from Anglesey and the immediately surrounding areas of north Wales ...

Being a Welsh speaker often goes hand in hand with being a Welsh separatist. Roughly 70 percent of Anglesey's population are Welsh speakers. The island's representative in Wales' government is Ieuan Wyn Jones, head of Plaid Cymru – a political party whose members have long sought to break from the United Kingdom and make Wales an independent country.

Owain Môn was born and raised on Anglesey and is so fiercely proud of his roots that he uses the old Welsh tradition of adopting one's region as a surname. His name more or less translates to: "Owain of Anglesey".

WSBTV, 26 April 2011

Yee-ha ... or ha, ha?

Well, I suppose we must thank Matt for his ability to completely misunderstand what he reads; for it provides us with a very timely demonstration that far too many people in Wales lack basic literacy skills. It's something that we must tackle while our children are at school ... if only to ensure that future generations of Wales on Sunday reporters don't provide us with similarly misleading stories.

I'm sure that's what he intended.

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8 comments:

Kelv said...

Not only did Matt Withers jump at the chance at rolling out another "ignorant Yanks" stereotype, but he also failed to mention that the original article was written by Chris Cope, who might actually know one or two things about Wales...

Anonymous said...

More than Matt Withers seems to!!! The majority of welsh speakers ARE in the southern half of Wales!

Anonymous said...

I agree.

Dai Penybont.

Anonymous said...

Liked this bit at the end,

"I'm not sure William and Kate will mean that much," says John. "With the good weather we've been having, that blinking Gadhafi could buy a summer home here and people would still come."

Lets offer him a home if it stops the fighting. One corrupt ruling family is good as the other one.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but Chris Cope is right, many Welsh speakers do adopt a middle or last name which is topographical - Môn, Teifi, Meirion. That's quite correct and it means, if your name is Jones, Williams etc yw can better define yourself.

Anonymous said...

No anon 10:19. Some do, but it amounts to a few. A miniscule minority.

MH said...

Chris Cope only said that it was an old Welsh tradition. He didn't make any comment about how many people adopted it; but some undoubtedly do, including the person he was talking about.

Matt Witters was wrong for claiming he said that "most" surnames were adopted that way. Cheap and shoddy journalism. He played for laughs, and the laugh's on him.

Anonymous said...

I suppose the 'yee-ha' is meant to portray the Welsh in particular Welsh speakers as some kind of cow-boy yokels.

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