i newspaper, July 22, 2017

(145 words) This story is meaningless without giving the present journey time and the distance between the two cities. If Elon Musk is well enough known to be in the headline, he should be in the intro too. I think if something is called ‘Space X’, you can take it that it has something to do with space.

This is how I would do it:

The technological entrepreneur Elon Musk claimed yesterday to have received verbal permission to build a ‘hyperloop’ which would transport passengers the 220 miles between Washington DC and New York City in just 29 minutes.

The present journey time by train is about three hours.

Mr Musk, who is known for his Tesla electric car and Space X rocket venture, did not specify who he had dealt with at the White House.

He wrote on social media: ‘Just received verbal govt approval  . . . to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop.  NY-DC in 29 mins.’

The hyperloop would send pods along tubes with low air pressure, thus reducing friction, at up to 700mph. Mr Musk, who has set up a tunnelling firm called the Boring Company, is also proposing to link Los Angeles and San Francisco, a distance of 380 miles, in the same way. (144 words)





A man who accidentally strangled a 16-year-old girl to death while pursuing a “sexual thrill” has been jailed for 12 years for her manslaughter.

BBC News Online, July 20, 2017

To strangle means to cause death by compressing the throat, so ‘strangle’ is  sufficient. Alternatively you can say ‘choked to death’, or ‘choked’ if death does not result.


i newspaper, July 20, 2017

I thought this heading on Page 2 was rather good. I turned to Page 24 and found

The idea of a taster on Page 2 is to lead you to a fuller version further into the paper, not one that is less than a third longer. And you can’t use the same heading twice.


Daily Express, July 19, 2017

This is a sloppy sentence. ‘Like’ means ‘similar to’, so this suggests that the seats in question are not the ones mentioned. The correct expression is ‘such as’. ‘Won off’ is something a child would say. It should be ‘won from’.


The Times, July 17, 2017

I’ve been saying for decades that this must be the case, so it is good to see a professional spelling it out. It is fair enough to say that a pilot steered clear of a building, but avoid using the word ‘hero’ in that connection.


Clitheroe Advertiser, July 17, 2017

‘Impromptu’ means ‘on the spur of the moment’ so it cannot by definition be planned. Still, if a mistake is worth making once, it’s worth making three times.

PS: I would avoid breaking Clitheroe as in the penultimate line.