Writing news stories about the Public Service every week has its moments believe it or not, but recently it feels as if its the moments who are having us.
Whether its a new fad in journalism, or just a plague of PR writers failing to re-read their masterpieces, a new trend has emerged with times, places and distances imposed between the quoted speaker and the words she or he is being quoted as saying.
The Minister said for the second year in a row a record had been broken. How many times did the Minister say it?
He said since April last year new drivers had competed their training. How long has he been saying it?
She said at the request of the Agency extra funding would be provided. Would she have spoken if she wasnt asked?
All three gems of ambiguity are real and each is as ambiguous as the other. The problem is they seem to be breeding.
Of course the insertion of a simple that after the word said would cancel out the ambiguity, requiring a sharp-eyed editor to throw his or her that into the ring to fix something that shouldnt be wrong in the first place.
Is PS-sssst! alone in noting this change or are there more out there?
Fabulous book prizes for the best examples. Send to PSsssst@psnews.com.au.
A fish tale
Travelling across the dtch to our Kiwi cousins now where Fisheries New Zealand has clamped down on fisherpersons cheating on their fishing prowess by failing to report their catches accurately and selling the difference to the Auckland fish market.
Eight people have been interviewed and could face prosecution the manager of fisheries compliance in the NZ Ministry for Primary Industries declared.
He called on members of the public who saw suspicious fishing to get on the line and call the Ministry.
The phone number? 0800 POACHER!
Also known as 0800 47 62 24.
Always on the lookout for new and interesting anagrams and abbreviations, PS-sssst!s never ending search took us to the depths of the NSW Police Service in the past week or so following up a note to officers reminding them of their duties when engaging in proactive policing.
The boys and girls in blue were advised that summaries of their activities in a range of functions would be sent up the ranks as part of the forces performance measurement system, measured in a program wisely named the Command Performance Accountability System, cunningly abbreviated as COMPASS.
COM as in Command, OK. PAS as in Performance Accountability System OK too.
But the final S is a mystery
Could we perhaps be seeing the first example of proactive anagramming?
Giveaways back for 2020
To our first lucky giveaway winners for 2020 now as Rama Gaind officially opens her giveaway season with two delightful films finding new homes among PS-sssst!s providential PS-ssssters, so many of whom were keen to line up to share in the spoils.
First prize off the blocks is the period drama The Aspen Papers starring Vanessa Redgrave, made available to the first three readers who could successfully name the film from which Ms Redgrave received her one and only Academy Award.
The answer was Julia in 1977 and the lucky correct winners first out of the PS News Barrel of Booty (BoB) were Yvonne M from the Australian Border Force, Keith H from Cannons Creek in Victoria, and Roz D from the South Australian Attorney-Generals Department.
Next prize in Ramas line-up is the Blu-Ray version of drama movie Jacobs Ladder, starring Michael Ealy and dealing with the scourge that is PTSD.
To win one of three copies of the movie, readers needed only name any of Mr Ealys past films which included 2 Fast 2 Furious, Takers and Think Like a Man.
The wise readers who had the right answers and escaped from BoB first were Gail W from the Commonwealths new Services Australia, Yusuf K from the National Measurement Institute and Chris K from the Department of Home Affairs.
Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to everyone for taking part.
Good luck to all.
Award winning giveaway
Staying with the shy and humble Rama now, shes jumped onto the oh-so-extraverted egotistical wagon to point out unceremoniously that one of the Blu-Ray movies up for grabs in PS News as we speak is the film Judy, for which film actor extraordinaire Renée Zellweger won another Best Actress award at the recent Oscars.
Getting this Blu-Ray of the film Judy is a real coup for PS News, a passionately enthusiastic Rama exclaimed uncontrollably this week.
So, tin an effort to quiet our Rama down, while at the same time helping readers share in history, the link to Ramas Judy giveaway is right here.
Good luck again!
And finally, it had to happen and former prominent economist in Public Service circles, Tim Harcourt these days the airport economist was the winner.
Tim was first to headline a story about the dangerous new health challenge coronavirus with a romantic throwback to the rock-n-roll of the 1980s.
How, I hear you ask.
By leading his headline with My Corona was how!
Thankfully, the article was better than the headline.
Till next week.
Something to share?
Send to PSsssst@psnews.com.au
(And, yes, it can be anonymous!)