Jul 012010

Here’s a headline from Google News that illustrates just how difficult it is for a non-native speaker of English (or, for that matter, for many a native speaker!) to understand journalists:

ABC Online: Houston expects changes for diggers under Petraeus

OK, so if you watch the news at all, you’d know that Petraeus is the US general who’ll be taking over in Afghanistan. But unless you also know that “ABC” can refer to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, that Angus Houston is Australia’s Chief of the Defense Force, and that “digger” is a slang term for Australian or New Zealand soldiers, you could be excused if you thought that this was not an article title but a cryptic crossword entry.

 Posted by at 8:12 pm