A little known fact about me is, I learned to speak in Bolton, ‘up North’. By the time I was six and we moved ‘down South’ my own mother could barely understand me.
One of the first days at my new primary school was an eye opener, for them more than me. The teacher asked the class to recite the rainbow, as I proudly bellowed out ‘I can sing a rainbow’ in my strong northern singing voice, the rest of the class, turned to stare in unison as they recited a completely different version. I soon found myself the centre of unwelcome attention. My nonplussed teacher asked me to explain, so I sung her my rendition of ‘I can sing a rainbow’. Ignoring the fact that my version of the rainbow was scientifically inaccurate, she fetched Mrs Unwin with her guitar. Proudly, I taught Mrs Unwin, who arranged a guitar accompaniment as I sang.
The very next day in assembly, Mrs Unwin taught the whole school my version of the rainbow. And so the south was introduced to the rainbow song. But here’s the thing…
You know when the wrong words to a song get stuck in your head and become the words that you sing every time? Well I, at the age of six, always sang
‘Listen with your ears, Listen with your eyes‘
And that, is what I taught Mrs Unwin, and that is what Mrs Unwin taught the whole school. Oops! I knew it should be ‘look with your eyes’, but that wasn’t what was stuck in my head, so that wasn’t what came out of my mouth.
Have you ever stopped to think it just doesn’t make sense?
Importance of Passing on Accurate Information
So why am I telling you this? Now more than ever we are ‘informed’ by social media. People read a message, interpret it their own way, then re-tell it in a way that makes sense in their heads. The crucial part is, many of us are guilty of accepting it as truth without question. For a growing population Facebook is fast becoming a replacement for News at 10.
Reinventing the lyrics of I Can Sing a Rainbow’ is of limited consequence. Passing on misonformation in these anxious times, is quite another matter. As a content writer, I have a responsibility to check everything I write and every source I use for accuracy, my reputation and that of my clients depends on it.
Work hard to seek out the truth, not the truth that you want to believe.