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The NHS has a mush-wimp moment

September 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The Daily Mail, along with Guido Fawkes and others, is quite rightly having a lot of fun with this online NHS ad for an anaesthetist:

NHS job vacancy ad

Please ensure the rubbish is correctly placed in the right recycling box

Across the pond, the National Review has also picked up on it, with Corner blogger John Derbyshire saying it’s an example of a “newspaper editor’s worst nightmare…that his scribbled instructions to journalists (“insert usual blather abt need 2 fix schools etc …”) might end up in the finished copy.”

It’s similar to those times when a layout artist’s “Insert text here jlkjlkj ssffssd kljllkj” instruction boxes appear in the national papers: similar, but not synonymous, since news editor’s comments often betray a particular feeling on the writer’s part.

Certainly, we all know what the writer of the NHS ad thought about the “usual rubbish” regarding equal opportunities that are de rigueur in public service job ads. Not that he or she was necessarily against equal opportunities, just that, with that wise native intelligence of the average Brit, they had long realised it was a foolish, time-wasting and expensive parroting of meaningless platitudes necessary purely because politicians have decreed it so.

Fellow National Review blogger Richard Brookhiser picked up the baton and mentioned his fave example from the Boston Globe, which I’d not been aware of.

On Saturday, March 15, 1980, following a speech on the economy by President Jimmy Carter, the Globe headlined an editorial:

Boston Globe More Mush from the Wimp

Just why do Metro readers keep collapsing?

July 22, 2011 1 comment

Metro reader Liam, of Leeds, raises a matter of urgent national concern in the paper’s Speak yr brains…sorry, Send us your txt column today:

Every day someone uses Good Deed Feed to thank the people who helped when they passed out. Why are all these Metro readers collapsing?

Gee, I dunno, Liam. Maybe it’s something to do with reading headlines like this:

Choas in the rush hour

Toryguff’s Oz subs face crack-down

May 15, 2011 1 comment
Australian police crack down on boozed-up idoits"

About time too...

There may be a lesson here: if you offshore your subbing, perhaps it’s best not to do it to a nation that “clearly has a drinking problem.”

Must tell Tim Worstall about this: I know he’s a keen collector of Telegraph Oz sub-prime subbing.

No doubt written by that renowned journalist “Insert Name Here”

March 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Sky News has this as the front page of today’s first edition of the Mirror (March 10). Can anyone confirm this was what actually appeared?

Mirror front page with big typo

Subprime subhead

Where SASSIES come from

March 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Typo on Spectator's blog

Error at Regrettheerror.com

March 7, 2011 1 comment

Trying to access Craig Silverman’s always entertaining regrettheerror.com blog (“Reports on corrections, retractions, clarifications and trends regarding accuracy and honesty in the media”) resulted in this warning this morning:

May contain malware message for regrettheerror.com

The Google diagnostic page is here.

Ooo-er. Has some aggrieved target of Craig’s eagle eye decided that rather than regretting their error, they’ll bomb him with malware?

It’s all Latin to me

May 24, 2010 Leave a comment
Daily Mail webpage

"Amo, alas, amat", as Aristotle was always saying

Everyone loves a story about powers-on-high making some simple but embarrassing bureaucratic cock-up with spelling: getting a place name wrong, painting a road marking SOTP, that sort of thing. Inevitably, such stories begin: “Red-faced officials apologised…”

The pleasure is doubled if the power-on-high is a university (especially an Oxbridge one) and the cock-up is something arcane such as the declension of a noun in a dead language such as Greek or Latin because, you know, they’re suppose to know about such things.

The trouble with such stories is that they so easily turn into a “pot-kettle-black” scenario if the paper, broadcaster or website concerned is equally sloppy in its attention to detail.

Especially if a sub or web editor doesn’t know the difference between Latin and Greek…

Word of advice: if ever you write or edit such a story, check, check and check again, then check once more for good measure. And do not rely on spellcheck.

Well, maybe they spelt the names correctly…

May 2, 2010 Leave a comment
take a break magazine

Gateway to libel hell

Sometimes you read such an all-encompassing apology in a libel case, you’re left wondering: “Well, if all that was wrong, was there anything at all that was right?”

Such is the case in this story at Press Gazette:

A woman and her partner accepted “substantial” damages from Take a Break magazine over a story which alleged that they conspired to get her former lover jailed by giving police false information.

Mrs Joyce Pinfield and partner David Valentine sued over a story which appeared in the magazine on April 5, 2007, under the headline “Yes, I framed you, darling”.

“The article detailed the relationship between Paul Eagles and his former lover Joyce Pinfield and her ongoing relationship with David Valentine,” Tim Atkinson, for Mrs Pinfield and Mr Valentine, told Mr Justice Eady at the High Court on April 21.

The magazine was told, and accepted, that a number of statements in the story were inaccurate.

“The defendant is happy to make clear that Mrs Pinfield and Mr Valentine did not conspire to put Mr Eagles in jail by providing false information to the police and to the fraud office and that Mr Valentine did not charges Mr Eagles over benefit fraud in bad faith,” Mr Atkinson said.

“The defendant also accepts that Mrs Pinfield did not take advantage of the situation to persuade Mr Eagles to sell his share of the business at rock bottom prices, that Mr Valentine and Mrs Pinfield did not trick Mr Eagles into coming into Mrs Pinfield’s house and that Mr Valentine did not attack Mr Eagles there (and Mrs Pinfield did not approve of any such attack.”

The defendant apologised to Pinfield and Valentine for the damage or distress caused by the article, and had agreed to pay them damages and their legal costs, he added.

Ian Helme, for the magazine, repeated its regret over publication of the article.

Naturally, one’s thoughts turn to how such a monumental cock-up occurred in the first place. And just as naturally, the answer that comes most readily to mind is not one that I’m prepared to spell out here. Having been unemployed for a year, I’m in no position to pay out any damages, substantial or otherwise. But since I have a lot of time on my hands at present, I may as well fill some of it in reacquainting myself with the salient facts of Elton John v. The Sun.

Categories: cock-ups, Libel Tags: , ,

Says it all, really

April 28, 2010 Leave a comment

The next time you hear someone down the pub moaning how British culture has all gone to the dogs, that the influx of American/Russian/Outlandishstan zillionaires has ripped the heart out of British sport or that the British press is the worst in the world, it’s nice to know there’s a Government department which has overseen it all:

Independent cock-up

The Independent, 22/04/10

Categories: cock-ups, The Independent