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Bertha HarianBertha Harian

News Reports

Language lessons

Sometimes I get asked: What’s a leading question? Now, I have got plenty of examples: The Ng Boon Gay trial. The prosecution and defence counsel are asking leading questions. Allowed in a court of law. So wonderful! In my past life, I’ve had to refrain from leading questions because a smart answer would be: What are you trying to get me to say? Do you have an agenda?

Of course in court, both sides have an agenda. Anyway, here are some techniques if you ever find yourself in a position of being able to ask leading questions.

a. Use an aggressive tone. In other words, intimidate
b. Use double negatives. In other words, confuse
c. Use a dictionary. In other words, look erudite.

I don’t know what you think but I thought the Ng Boon Gay trial was very educational for language students.

What’s the difference between actual and perceived conflict of interest, for example? What’s the difference between routine (sex) and on-and off (sex)? Is gratification the same thing as satisfaction? What is lust and what is love? To be fair, I haven’t seen the word lust used in newspaper reports, just part-time lover and main sex partner…And of course, the ultimate killer: Define DIY.

I’m getting tired of the trial. We’re trying to define matters like corrupt intent and physical intimacy. It’s all about “feelings’’ this trial is. I just want to say: Leave it to the judge to look at the facts, and not the feelings and let’s see the end of this sorry, sordid spectacle playing out every day.

Written By

An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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