Category Archives: Maritime Media & Communications

Grappling with gender-neutral language

The gender-neutral language mania has not spared the shipping world. Several times I have been knocked on social media for advocating the use of “seaman” or “seawoman” in lieu of the over-inclusive and less accurate term “seafarer”. The objections usually come from feminists who will not tolerate any term which references only one gender. Using such words, in their view, […]

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The greatest sin of the maritime press

The most grievous sin committed by many in the maritime press is not copy-and-paste journalism, which is rather common these days. Nor is it sloppy writing by reporters. It is the obliteration of the once-sacred line between editorial space and advertising space, the unabashed but often covert selling of the former for money or personal favours. Total Share: 10412300

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Lessons from 7 years of blogging

Marine Café Blog silently marked its seventh anniversary last 25th of August whilst I was on extended leave from my normal activities. Seven years is not a long span, but it has taught me a few lessons. The first is that some maritime institutions are considered sacrosanct, and woe to the writer who dares question them. Total Share: 1100000

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Time to resuscitate the term “seaman”

Marine Café Blog recently took the bold step of completely dropping the use of the term “seafarer” in favour of “seaman” or “seawoman”. Not many, I’m afraid, will follow suit. The International Maritime Organization has virtually buried the word “seaman” with the entire shipping industry only too happy to attend the funeral. Total Share: 11163100

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Five Filipino maritime illusions dispelled

“It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality,” wrote the English writer Virginia Woolf. Quite true, but the maritime illusions which many Filipinos harbour need to be killed. Such phantoms are not only a source of false national pride. They bedazzle the mind and blind Filipinos to reality, making it more difficult for them to change things […]

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The maritime herd mentality rules

Shipping is not any more conformist than other industries. But the herd mentality amongst maritime folks is so perceptible we are reminded of Friedrich Nietzche’s observation in his philosophical novel, Thus Spake Zarathustra: “No shepherd and one herd! Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.” Total Share: 8122201

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Seven of shipping’s catchiest slogans

The watchwords that periodically waft out of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) headquarters in London have given the term “slogan” a bad name. Not only do they lack imagination. They sound rather contrived and insincere — which is unfortunate as slogans can serve a useful purpose in the shipping industry. Total Share: 7151000

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