#271

Daily Telegraph, November 10, 2017

A basic requirement of a sub-editor is that there should be some connection between the brain and the fingers. Anyone tapping out ‘a third of men still live with their parents’ should think, ‘Hang on, that can’t be right.’ As the copy makes clear, it is men in the 20-34 age group. You have to concentrate on what you are doing.

#269

Daily Telegraph, November 10, 2017

They’ll be telling us the world is round next. This might have been a usable headline 20 or 30 years ago, but the fact that plastics pollute the seas is no longer news. You could try:

10pc of dolphins
have eaten plastic

 

#268

The Times, November 10, 2017

(23 words) Lovely picture, but the whole point is that these are the autumn colours for which New England is renowned. You don’t need to say that maples are trees. And ‘Scenic root’? Pathetic.

I would put:

Falling leaves: Thousands of maples display their autumn colours beside the Kancamagus Highway, one of the renowned New England fall foliage drives (22 words)

#267

The Times, November 10, 2017

I don’t think I have ever seen the word ‘virtuosic’ before, but sure enough, it is the adjective from ‘virtuoso’. Is there any point in using it? ‘Virtuoso cinematographer’ would be much more readable, even though ‘virtuoso’ is a noun. In any case, do you need both ‘virtuoso’ and ‘Oscar-winning’? Two adjectives before a name tends to be clumsy.

#266

These babies would grow up to become the healthiest, most fit, most active and most affluent generation ever up to that point.

They would also see themselves as the most unique.

The Sun, November 17, 2017

There is a word for ‘most fit’, and it is ‘fittest’.

‘Ever’ is not needed.

‘Unique’ cannot be qualified. It means ‘one of a kind’, so you can’t have ‘almost one of a kind’ or ‘the most one of a kind’ or ‘very one of a kind’.

#265

‘Da Vinci’ artwork sells for record $450m

Dr Tim Hunter, who is an expert in Old Master and 19th Century art, told the BBC . . . “Da Vinci painted less than 20 oil paintings and many are unfinished so it’s incredibly rare and we love that in art.”

BBC News online, November 16, 2017

The artist’s name is Leonardo; da Vinci is not a surname but means that he came from the town of Vinci. He should be called Leonardo or Leonardo da Vinci  in the first reference and Leonardo subsequently. I would have expected BBC types to know this but obviously not. Moreover, it is inconceivable that an art expert would make this elementary error, so someone must have made up his quote or changed it. If I were Dr Tim Hunter I would be very angry at being made to look a fool.

NB Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code must be responsible for a lot of ignorant people thinking that Da Vinci (or da Vinci) is correct.

#264

He was ejected from Wimbeldon in 2000 for smashing a journalist’s phone, the

The teenage star’s career peaked when she made the Wimbeldon quarter finals

He was ejected from Wimbeldon in 2000 for smashing a journalist’s phone (pictured)

Mail Online, November 11, 2017

 

I tend to avoid using Mail Online because it is too much like shooting fish in a barrel, but here is a particularly shocking example of its total lack of quality control. I might have put it down to mistyping (which is bad enough if it goes on to the website) but getting it wrong three times shows that there is at least one cretin there who can’t spell Wimbledon. Presumably this person gets paid! This is taking money under false pretences.
PS: 24 hours later, the article has been updated but the Wimbeldons remain.

#263

i newspaper, November 8, 2017, page 1

i newspaper, November 8, 2017, page 11

Imagine the joy in media offices when this story came in: ‘Now we can trot out all those stupid phrases with “ewe” in them!’ Never mind that they don’t have anything to do with the story. The i newspaper went mad and used two. They missed this one, but the Times didn’t:

Hello ewe: sheep recognise a famous face, say neuroscientists

At ITV Online they disinterred this one:

Would ewe believe it? Sheep can recognise celebrity faces

At the Guardian, they thought this was clever:

Is it … Baa-rack Obama? Sheep able to recognise celebrities, say neuroscientists

It isn’t, though, is it? Not remotely.

Nor is this, from the Yorkshire Post:

President Obaa-ma, I presume? – sheep can recognise human faces

I would have been tempted to try something on the lines of

Smarter than they look – sheep can recognise human faces