“false stories that appear to be news, spread on the internet or using other media, usually created to influence political views or as a joke”
The term fake news is used a lot by some politicians. When they say that a news report is fake news, they mean it contradicts their beliefs and so they don’t want other people to believe it. They have a different view of the situation and want to promote that view. Instead of giving evidence to support their view, the politicians try to discredit the original new report by calling it fake news. Very often, it isn’t important to these politicians whether the news is true or not.
When a politician claims something is fake news they rarely criticise the content of the news report directly. Their aim is to call the writer and publisher of the report a fake. In other words, they’re calling them a liar. Of course, this is also an attack on anybody who accepts the truth of the original news report. The implication is they are stupid to believe it and, therefore, those who don’t, such as the politician and his supporters, are more intelligent.
Although fake news is a fixed phrase it’s not the only word that we use when we talk about attempts to deceive people. There are words such as false, forged, counterfeit, and fraudulent. For example,
The document had a forged signature at the bottom.
Last week I found a counterfeit pound coin in my wallet.
He was arrested for submitting a fraudulent tax return.
We can also use the words fake and false to describe these situations.
He made a false claim that it was his signature.
The pound coin was a fake.
The tax return contained false information.
While we’re taking about words that mean fake, let’s look at some words that mean the opposite such as true, real, genuine and authentic. For example,
Read the article then decide if each of these statements is true or false.
I prefer documentaries to dramas. I like to hear the stories of real people.
The art expert declared that the painting was a genuine Rembrandt.
There’s a new restaurant in the High Street. They serve authentic Malaysian food.
So, what’s the opposite of fake news? It’s just news, of course.
At Stratford Teachers, pronunciation is one of our favourite subjects. This is because it’s very important to have good pronunciation so people can understand you. Of course, it’s also an area of language that you can improve more quickly when you have a teacher.
Here are some of our blog posts about pronunciation from the last year.
The spelling of English words can be very confusing. We wrote three posts showing some common sound/spelling combinations :
The last word making the headlines was election and when there’s an election on, there’s one topic that is sure to be discussed. That topic, of course, is tax – should we be paying more or less and what should our governments spend the money on?
Everybody knows what tax is but be careful with the pronunciation of the plural form. Taxes/tæk.sɪz/ has a short /ɪ/ vowel sound in the second syllable. If you make this sound too long, people could think you are saying taxis /tæk.siːz/. That would be very confusing!
Here’s a story from the website of the Guardian newspaper about the election promises of one of the major British political parties, the Labour Party. The story is about income tax, the tax that we pay on the money we earn from our jobs.
The article also talks about tax revenue. This is the total amount of money the government collects from taxpayers: you and me.
The Labour party also promises to deal with tax avoidance. Tax avoidance is when people and companies use loopholes in the law to avoid paying some or all of their tax. Don’t confuse this with tax evasion which is when you just don’t pay your tax. Tax evasion is against the law and you can go to prison if the authorities catch you.