#507

Sunday Times, October 29, 2019

Complete lack of curiosity, Part 99: These two items appeared on the same page of the Sunday Times Culture supplement. I am at a loss to know how a sub could have sent them through without finding out the ages of the recording artists involved. Is there anyone in there?

#506

The billionaire owners of the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph are to put both titles up for sale.

Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay are understood to be reviewing all of their key assets, which includes the Telegraph Media Group (TMG).

[ . . . ]

Aidan Barclay, 63, and Howard Barclay, 59, are thought to be evaluating the family’s businesses on behalf of their father, Sir David Barclay, and his 84-year-old twin Sir Frederick.

BBC News Online, October 29, 2019

It is hard to explain how stupid it is to say ‘his 84-year-old twin Sir Frederick’, and frankly if someone can’t see it, he or she is taking money under false pretences. The age of the twins needs to go in the second par, thus:

The 84-year-old twins Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay are understood to be reviewing all of their key assets, which includes the Telegraph Media Group (TMG).

This immediately adds  the fact that they are getting on a bit, and it does not assign an age to one twin leaving open the possibility that the other could be a different age.

As an aside, I have many times seen this kind of thing: ‘The twins, who are both 16’. Unless they were born each side of midnight at New Year, this goes without saying. You do not need to point out, either, that boy and girl twins are not identical. I know it is obvious but again it is something I have seen repeatedly.

Finally:

Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay are understood to be reviewing all of their key assets,

‘all of’ is wrong. It should be ‘all their key assets’. Why add a word that is not necessary?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#505

Sunday Times, October 20, 2019

Not everyone is great at spelling, but it is the most basic requirement for a sub. If the writer put the incorrect ‘sewing’ and a sub let it through, the sub needs sacking. If the writer put the correct ‘sowing’ and the sub changed it, the sub needs sacking.

#504

The Times, October 9, 2019

In a packed field, this emerges as the front-runner for the title of worst intro of the year. I am sure the sub was not to blame Рthis writer is in second, third and fourth places too. But someone has to say to him that this would disgrace an eight-year-old.  Writers who think they can write are a menace, and if they are treated as untouchable they get worse.

#503

The Times, October 7, 2019

By now I am used to newspapers using the wrong words, but this is fairly unusual: a word that doesn’t exist. The Knicks are a basketball team properly called the New York Knickerbockers, and ‘knicks’ is a short form for a lady’s underwear. If you try a spellcheck for ‘knick’ it will come up with nothing, which is what this sub should have done when he or she meant ‘nick’.