Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker

Another network followed with seven-foot-tall models on the studio floor

“The Japanese need for context, the desire to have things explained to them in a precise, detailed manner, manifests itself in some odd ways sometimes. Few TV news features, for example, are complete without one of the presenters holding up a little placard bearing some important statistics, which they then have to hold steady as the camera zooms in on it. It’s not that they can’t, or don’t, use digital graphics, it’s just that sometimes they feel the need to make the presentation of this information more personal, more involved; they’d rather hold the viewer’s hand and talk them through something, pointing out the salient bits along the way… I used to think it was odd; now I just think it’s Japanese. All the same, last week’s mission on the part of the TV networks to explain the events of Tuesday to the masses left me a little shocked.”

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Grant Barrett