January 04, 2005

A Difference in Emphasis

I was perusing the obits again today in the Daily Telegraph, reading about the life of Professor Martin Robertson, a noted classicist and expert on Greek art. Sounded like a very interesting person. Professor at Oxford, wrote a lot of great looking books, and was heir to a long tradition of classical scholarship in his family. Only at the last line of the obit does the curious reader discover that the Professor's son is Thomas Dolby of the "She Blinded Me With Science" fame and that the Professor appeared on roller skates in, I presume, that very music video. Cool, no?

Now we get to the difference in emphasis. If this man's death was reported in the American press, I have no hesitation in assuming that it would have been reported under the headline: "Father of Thomas Dolby Dies". Can anyone really doubt that? No. The good Professor's life would have been swallowed up in the son's musical career. But the Telegraph does not turn this man's life on its head in that way. The Telegraph waits until the last line of the obit, thus not allowing the accomplishments of the son to overshadow the very justly celebrated accomplishments of the father. That is how it ought to be. Only the reader who perseveres to the very end will discover that the son is, or was, famous, too. I think it is a difference of emphasis and I rather like it.

Posted by Random Penseur at January 4, 2005 04:01 PM

I like it too. Very classy indeed. Sad that it's surprising that we find it so, yes?

Posted by: Amber at January 5, 2005 05:53 PM

I'm glad you enjoyed that, Amber.

Posted by: RP at January 6, 2005 08:49 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?