Dunno where Joanne Carroll and Kathryn Powley went to school.
Presumably the twosome – both newspaper reporters – did not get their basics in the English language at the splendid Eketahuna school, where Alf was taught a few decades ago.
If they had gone there thy are bound to have been given an idea of the meaning of “mayhem”.
And if they didn’t go there, Alf would like to think they learned its meaning somewhere else.
Let’s try this definition –
may·hem (mhm, mm) n.
1. Law The offense of willfully maiming or crippling a person.
2. Infliction of violent injury on a person or thing; wanton destruction: children committing mayhem in the flower beds.
3. A state of violent disorder or riotous confusion; havoc.
Get the picture?
An element of chaos is involved.
So how could the aforementioned Herald on Sunday hackettes write that three people are dead and at least three others in hospital
…after a weekend of holiday mayhem on the water.
Three bloody boating accidents have precious little to do with mayhem.
The circumstances attest to an element of negligence in the case of a bloke who had been fishing with three others at Lake Alexandrina, near Lake Tekapo, when their rowing boat tipped over.
Police said none was wearing lifejackets.
And further down in the story –
The fisherman who drowned at Bethells wasn’t wearing a lifejacket either.
It is reasonable to suppose, therefore that at least two of the three deaths could have been avoided.
The bloody newspaper then would have had just one drowning to report.
But no doubt this one death would have been described as mayhem.