The Letter Chelsea White Received From Me

For anyone following the so-called ‘radio wives war’ as reported by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, here’s what I really said. If you want to check my tweets you need to look at December 13. I tweet as @elissamilne, and be warned – I tweet mostly about music education, piano teaching and classical music, the same topics I cover in this blog.

Hi Chelsea

My apologies for being impossible to access yesterday – I’m in the middle of a tour around the country presenting seminars to piano teachers in this last week before school goes back, and my flight back to Sydney last night was one of the last of the day.

I suspect it’s too late for phone calls now, seeing as your plans were to go forward with the story already. But I’m assuming you are referring to the news that Lisa Oldfield made remarks about me on her private facebook account. I wouldn’t even know about it except for someone alerting my husband to this, and my view is that Lisa is entitled to say whatever she likes in her facebook status, and her friends are equally entitled to respond to her status in the way they see fit.

I understand Lisa’s comments were in response to a twitter conversation I had had on December 13, where I was discussing the lack of apostrophes in written journalism, and my surprise and horror at the misuse of subordinate clauses. Yes, this was a grammar-nazi tweeting-session, replete with hashtags decrying the illiteracy of the media and my despair that an ability to use words correctly was dwindling in the fourth estate.

In the midst of this twitter conversation/rant someone tweeted that David Oldfield had read a list of ‘racially based surnames’ in a recent broadcast, and I tweeted that ‘illiteracy was better than that shite’, a reflection of my belief that comments that superficially dwell on ethnicity or that attempt to sensationalise and deride the racial diversity of Australia are a poor use of the broadcast spectrum. And I can only assume that this is what upset Lisa.

It’s possible that Lisa mistook the entire rant about apostrophes and so forth as being about David, but since he works in an audio format where apostrophes are not visible it’s hard to see how this conclusion would have been reached. Further, David has a wonderful voice for radio and really is a natural in this medium. He also has a perfectly functional vocabulary (not true of everyone in the trade). The only thing one can criticise about him is the questionable content of his broadcasts, and I can only imagine that David’s content will continue to be oriented toward decrying ways of living that are foreign to him (halal food being served in KFCs being a recent example) and therefore open to criticism from people like myself who find this attitude to parts of the Australian population to be distasteful.

I hope this sheds some light on the ‘dispute’. I firmly believe Lisa should be allowed to say whatever she likes about me or anyone/anything else – it’s her facebook page for goodness sake. And I wouldn’t have even known about it except for someone phoning John.

On the other hand, I have no idea how on earth Lisa was alerted to my tweet. I am mostly followed by people interested in music education, classical music and arts marketing. I tweet as myself, Elissa Milne, and my profile does not mention my relationship with my husband. As I have never met Lisa in person I am amazed that she even knows who I am.

At least now introductions won’t be required.

All the best

Elissa Milne

2 thoughts on “The Letter Chelsea White Received From Me

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