Friday, 14 January 2011

Here Are Some I Made Earlier

Over the past few days the newspapers have been up to their usual tricks. Here are a few examples from recent editions of the Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review.

Apostrophe alert - those valleys are plural, so you don't need an apostrophe (and this is from the FRONT PAGE of the Australian; it's really a bit poor):

 'Is also not likely to overly worry' or 'Is not likely to overly worry either', but not both:

 'Its' is wrong here:

 'Competed' sounds scary:

What does 'there is no only' mean:

 Germaine Greer can be intimidating, but that's no reason to start repeating your words:

There's no need to start talking pidgin English, just because you're talking about a Frenchman - 'when he decide to have':

It looks like Kate Middleton's dad is going to have his hands full on her wedding day:

Escorting up to a million people, even if they are well-wishers, could be trying.

You don't need 'in', if you've got 'since':

The question is actually 'which' - 'what' is a request for a definition:

When you haven't mentioned something before, you should say 'the', not 'this' before 'growing':
It wouldn't have done any harm to put a 'he' between 'on the basis that' and "would":

I think the phrase is 'Forewarned is forearmed':

(The advice re gloating Poms, by the way, included pointing out that only our batting has collapsed, not our banks.)


  1. Here's a post you might enjoy. The blogger is a lecturer in English at an Aus Uni:

  2. Blimey. I imagine you've become almost 'bomb happy' about this sort of thing by now :-)

  3. I think the phrase is 'forewarned is forearmed'.

  4. M-H - Many thanks, I shall take a look
    Gadjo -I'm being thick: please explain, as a notorious Oz politician used to say.
    Mithra - I think so too.

  5. 'Bomb happy' is a soldiers term that was (and maybe still is) used to describe chaps who've had so many bombs falling about them, e.g. in WW1, that they've become oblivious to the dangers and will get out of the trenchs and start dancing around amongst the poppies when the next artillery barrage comes in. Probably more accurately termed 'post traumatic shock disorder' these days. I was implying, unwisely, that you might have reached the stage of thinking "Oh, sod it, if The Australian really wants to make a new version of the English language then we might just as well all enjoy it".

  6. I should do that. The trouble is, every time I decide to, I get a crusading urge to remind people that, if you don't use language properly, you don't convey thought clearly. Of course, Orwell said it better than anyone a long time ago and still no-one cares.

  7. You're right, I know you're right, you know you're right, and so do all other right-thinking people. But there'll always be some character (probably, hem hem, with a Media Studies degree) who will say that Shakespeare roughed up English grammar so why shouldn't we.

  8. One problem is I see these mistakes so often that I begin to wonder if in fact there's nothing wrong with them and I am just getting early onset dementia, seeing things that aren't really there. No-one else seems to mind so perhaps it's me that's in a muddle, not the papers.