The Times, January 30, 2017

I must have spent a fair portion of my time as a sub deleting the word  ‘speaking’. Unless he wrote down his words (in which case you would say that), or used semaphore, he is obviously speaking. All you need is ‘the former England captain admitted at a glitzy ticker-tape launch . . .’

This error often shows up as ‘Speaking last night/outside his home, he said . . . ‘ Any time you find yourself writing ‘speaking’, check that it is necessary – it rarely is.

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