12 February, 2011


More from pedant's corner

In the Mail we read of another opportunistic serial offendee of the week and the terrible saga of JungleDrumgate. To be honest this is all pretty business-as-usual (apart of course from the point of view of the actual victim of this time- and money-frittering brouhaha, the public-spirited and by all accounts thoroughly decent Anna Farquhar).

But this example of the tyranny of tribal sensitivity is, as I say, run-of-the-mill stuff. What catches my eye is this fine example of the sub-editor's art:

This offence was introduced under laws to deal with the Far Right marching through areas like Southall in Manchester or Islamic fanatics descending on military funeral processions in Wootton Bassett. Not squabbles in the council chamber.
(My emphasis)

Now, when I was a kid I used to think that the Falkland Islands were somewhere off the north of Scotland and that Arkansas and Arkansaw were two distinct states of the Union. But then I wasn't an adult reporter or sub-editor on a national newspaper who apparently believes that Southall is in Manchester. Confused by fond memories of culinary adventures down the Wilmslow Road were we, Sunshine?

Warning! Gratuitous joke follows:

Q. Why is it usual to address Turks as effendi?
A. Because they're always taking effence at something or other.

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