The BBC has taken time out from Israel-bashing to get its corporate knickers in a twist over Carol Thatcher saying “golliwog”. Carol Thatcher is the daughter of our esteemed former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, which may have something to do with it. UK readers will know the story, but American readers may have had more important things to think about, so here it is in The Telegraph, with my emphasis on the offensive word:
Ms Hunt [controller of BBC 1] defended the corporation's decision to fire Thatcher from her job as a roving reporter for The One Show, insisting her description of a French-Congolese tennis player had been "hugely offensive".
She said Thatcher had received a harsher punishment than Jonathan Ross, who was suspended after leaving lewd messages on the answering machine of the actor Andrew Sachs, because unlike him she had declined to say sorry.
"We have given Carol ample opportunity to offer a fulsome and unconditional apology for the offence that she caused ... and she's chosen not to do so," Ms Hunt said.
"Regrettably ... Carol doesn't think she has anything to apologise for, and for that reason it is inappropriate for her to continue to work on a show that prides itself on its diversity."
Ms Hunt clearly doesn’t know what fulsome means. She thinks it means “full”. A fulsome apology – excessive and cloying – would, ironically, be appropriate as a way of showing contempt for what is being asked: “Please forgive my vile, execrable racism, for I cannot live with myself.” It is Ms Hunt’s ignorance that is truly offensive, not the utterly harmless reference to a much loved children’s toy. Carol Thatcher shows admirable common sense in refusing to bow to political correctness, and I hope she goes on to earn much more money at ITV or Channel 4.
Posted on 02/06/2009 6:50 AM by Mary Jackson
6 Feb 2009
Here you will find the first discussion of "fulsome" at this website:
And here you will find the second discussion of the word "fulsome" at this website: http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_direct_link.cfm/blog_id/13688
And above you will find the third mention of the word "fulsome" which appears to take us right back to the first mention, and my original definition, without a hint of the definition proffered as an acceptable, additional meaning, different from the one I gave, and which, were the writer of the second posting to adhere to her suggestion, would make the posting today unnecessary and wrong.
So it appears she has come round, again, to the definition I originally offered, and has silently retracted her alternative, which would have vitiated at least part of her criticism of the BBC.
6 Feb 2009
it appears she has come round
The hell I have.
Fulsome meaning "full" is wrong, and that is how it is being used. Fulsome meaning "excessive" is best. But fulsome meaning "lavish", in a neutral way, is becoming an acceptable alternative, as I rightly stated in my earlier post. Rightly, as always.