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.


Daily Express, July 11, 2017

There seems to be a belief in some quarters that a question mark is not necessary on a question. This belief is quite wrong. All you need to do here is:

What midlife crisis?
t’s fab
to be



The Times, July 15, 2017

Regular readers will know of Giles Coren’s contempt for subs – see Post 79. This is a shame, since he needs help (see also Posts 95 and 74). This time he has tried to show off by using a long word, but it’s the wrong one. ‘Effulgent’ means ‘shining’, ‘brilliant’ or ‘radiant’, in the sense of a facial expression or personality, as in ‘he turned to see his bride with an effulgent beam’. I’m not sure what he meant to put, but ‘over-long’ would have served. Giles, here’s a tip: if you are not sure what a word means, look it up. It will save you from looking a fool.