#61

Daily Telegraph, April 6, 2017

There must have been a comma famine at the Telegraph when this intro was done. The word ‘new’ is superfluous.

Near the top of the second leg there is a reference to ‘Frugalpac’. The average reader will not have a clue what this is. We are not told until the last par. When you introduce a new name such as Frugalpac you must make its function clear straight away.

#59

Daily Express, April 5, 2017

Windermere and all the other ‘meres’ in the Lake District do not take the prefix ‘Lake’, because ‘mere’ means ‘lake’. The same applies to Derwentwater and all the other ‘waters’. The only lake in the Lake District is Bassenthwaite Lake.

Incidentally, how ‘secret’ is a wedding at which pictures are taken by a news agency? (I did not cut the picture out.)

#58

i newspaper, April 6, 2017

The word ‘people’ is rarely necessary. Who or what else would apply to university? Giraffes? Zombies?

The intro could be

The number of applications to study at UK universities and higher education institutes has fallen.

or

Applications to study at UK universities and higher education institutes have fallen.

The heading could be

Drop in applications to
study at UK universities

which would be a better shape, too.

#57

The Times, April 5, 2017

This is a worthy candidate for worst intro of all time. It is too bad to analyse. The story then drivels on about the meaning of the Latin words when it should be about the protest.

This is the way to do it:

i newspaper, April 5, 2017

It would be hard to improve this.

#56

Daily Express, March 31, 2017

‘Ashen’ is the adjective for something the colour of ash. So this means ‘ash-colour-coloured’. In any case we have already been told that the pizza base is black, so this is needless repetition. I would delete the words ‘the ashen-coloured base and’. This gives you a reasonable sentence.

The repetition of ‘taste’ in the first two pars could be avoided by using ‘flavour’.

You do not need to repeat ‘supermarket’ in the second paragraph. Everyone knows what a chain is in this context. Actually it would be better to put Waitrose at the end of the second paragraph and ‘chain’ in the third.

Later, you cannot end one quote and start another in this way. It looks like an error, as if the quotes have wrongly been closed after the first paragraph. The way to do it is to end the first quote and start the next paragraph with ‘A Waitrose spokesman added:  . . .’

This would give you:

IT’S a taste we’ve all achieved accidentally, but now a supermarket has launched the charcoal pizza, complete with black base.

Made from hand-stretched sourdough with charcoal in the mix, its bitter flavour is part of a new foodie fad, according to Waitrose.

Manisha Kotecha, the chain’s pizza developer, explained: “With the growing popularity of charcoal in food and drink, and the striking visual that it delivers, we know our wood-fired anti-pasti pizza will be a big hit.”

A Waitrose spokesman added: “The crisp base [take in the rest].

The heading is dreadful. How can a fad serve up anything?

Pizza that’s meant
to taste of charcoal

is exactly the same character count, and it makes sense.

 

 

#55

She also takes home £940,000 in prize money in claiming what was her third WTA Tour success from a fourth final.

BBC Sport website, April 2, 2017

The words ‘what was’ are ugly and unnecessary. Delete them and you get

She also takes home £940,000 in prize money in claiming her third WTA Tour success from a fourth final.

which is so much better.

#54

The Times, March 31, 2017

‘Snuggly’ is a childish adjective derived from the verb ‘to snuggle’. The word that is wanted here is ‘snugly’, an adverb derived from the adjective ‘snug’, meaning in this context ‘close’, ie a close fit. The wretched ‘snuggly’ is a favourite word at the Times: see post #52. I don’t see it having any place in a serious newspaper.

#52

The Times, March 29, 2017

This is another example of the prevalent ignorance about the natural world. You can’t call a cygnet a duckling. It is like putting ‘lamb’ on a caption about a calf. ‘Mute cygnet’ reads very oddly. In fact there is no need to identify it as a mute swan, because this is by far the most common species in this country. You would only need to put the species if it is not a mute swan. So ‘cygnet’ is perfectly adequate. I feel the word ‘peeps’ would be better than ‘peers’.