29 July 2020

The extremely silly mask-tur-bate

The Back Page

Never has the importance of British-royal-family-level diction been more pronounced than in the great mask debate.

The … what?

It’s recently come to light that dropping off a few key consonants in the words “mask debate” gets you into dangerous territory if you are American (accent is key) and happen to work as a news anchor at a national broadcaster.

A video compilation of journalists using this unfortunate pairing of words has raised awareness of this very common, unintended double entendre.

Two of the journalists, Teresa Green and Justin Case, told The Back Page the video was “extremely silly” and the maker should “consider the seriousness of the pandemic” before poking fun at hard-working media professionals.

If you’re guilty of some American drawling or you have that Aussie tendency to slur words together, maybe consider saying, “the great debate about masks” live on air instead?


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a needed sublime bit of silliness from @lastweektonight

A post shared by David Wain (@davidwain) on

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