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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

ORR HONOURED (article first published : 2001-04-5)

The English Academy of South Africa recently conferred the English Academy Medal on radio personality John Orr from SAfm for his outstanding programme Word of Mouth. The medal is awarded to those “whom the academy believes have made a highly significant contribution to the cause of the English language".

This year it has been decided to honour John Orr for his entertaining and highly meritorious programme promoting the excellent use of language.

Says Joe Garmeson of the academy: "The programme is helpful to many - in particular, though not exclusively, to those for whom English is a second or third language - who write in asking for information or guidance in the meaning of words and correct usage. Its durability testifies to the extent to which the need for it is required."

Word of Mouth started life in 1987 on Radio South Africa (now SAfm) as Strictly Speaking. A panel, chaired by Orr, invites listeners to present their language problems to them, which are then discussed in an articulate and often amusing manner.

"I've certainly learned a lot," says John Orr, "and it has been great fun discussing language usage and policies. Sometimes we clearly irritate listeners, so we allow anything to come on the programme.

Word of Mouth can be heard each Sunday morning on SAfm at 08h30.




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