Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Malcolm Turnbull Needs a Proofreader

This excerpt from his latest blog post proves I'm right:

"So this material is very different from Peter Wright’s memoirs and in many respects is quite unique; the only comparable disclosure being Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers. Mr Assange is being denounced just about everywhere and has gone so far as to claim that Australia has abandoned them. That is not, and should not, be the case."

Leaving aside the desire I have to remove "quite" from before "unique", which is a change that might be debatable, there is really no question that J. Assange, although he has unleashed more chaos than hundreds of his fellow citizens put together, is still a single person and therefore cannot be referred to as "them".

I would also question the sequence of tenses in this sentence from the same text:

" ...if he is charged with a crime overseas then he would be entitled to consular assistance."

Similarly, further along in the post, "it" needs to be replaced with "doing so" and "anyway" should be two, separate words:

"...former intelligence officers can publish accounts of their work so long as it does not identify sources or affect in anyway current operations".

There are quite a few other minor oversights, such as "his" for "he has" in this bit:

"...whether his committed a crime or not, his moral culpability will be beyond question because it is open to him to ensure that nothing is published which puts any individual in harm’s way."

Mr Turnbull also needs to think more about commas.

(In a blog which is, I assume, supposed to raise the blogger's profile, such mistakes are counter-productive, and providing work for a member of the beleaguered profession of copy-editors would be more than worth Mr Turnbull's while.)


  1. And what's that semi-colon doing? Nothing but confusing us, that's what. If the verb 'being' were changed to 'is' it would work. If the semicolon were a comma it would work. As it is, it's a dog's breakfast.

  2. Hell's bells, how right you are - I missed that excrescence (I love using that word, don't know why.)