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Another letter to my local rag

I’m afraid my inner pedant got the better of me and couldn’t overlook another correspondent’s loose grip on reality last week, resulting in another letter published in my hometown rag, the Southport Visiter. Sorry for the geekiness: if you find it frustrating when letters myopically concentrate on the specifics of claims while ignoring the bigger issues, it’s probably best if you don’t click through.

This 1,612th post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, Writing Elsewhere, , .

Parochial question of the week

I am a dog lover and had many as pets over the years and I ask the question to irresponsible dog owners: why can’t you clean up after your dog?

This teaser was posed by Mrs Sharon Hawkins in a letter to the Southport Visiter. I’m not a dog downer, but I suspect that the irresponsible behaviour of irresponsible dog owners may reasonably be attributed to their irresponsibility. Any other theories would, however, be welcomed.

This 1,536th post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, Quotes, .

The sad truth about the human species

Sadly, it is a fact of life that people do need to use the toilet.

From a letter penned by a Mrs R Anderson to the Southport Visiter.

This 1,497th post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, Quotes, .

Sandgrounders can’t understand a simple sign

If you misinterpret “Topshop Southport is closed” to mean that the entire town is closed, you’re probably too dim to be allowed to shop anyway. It’s sad when a local paper feels the need to use a full page to publicise the locals’ inability to interpret “Topshop’s standard store closure poster”.

This 1,447th post was filed under: Photos, , , , .

Newspaper misspells own name in masthead

Valley News's front-page oopsie.

Valley News's front-page oopsie.

It seems that the New Hampshire-based Valley News managed to misspell its own title on its own masthead on Monday by appending a superfluous ‘s’. Quite impressive stuff and, rather extraordinarily, not spotted by anybody involved in the production process.

No doubt if I owned a newspaper, stuff like that woud be happening all the time. But perhaps that’s not surprising given that I come from the home of the Southport Visiter, consistently misspelled for 164 years, and read theguardian – a paper not best known for its spellchecker, and whose spaceless nonsense masthead has fascinated me since its introduction.

On a more serious note, with editors everywhere laying off subeditors, claiming that they are no longer relevant or necessary in the multimedia newsroom, could there be a more prominent, clear demonstration that the role is still vital?

Without subs, accuracy suffers, whether it be grammatical or factual. And in the ever-more competitive world, where the internet means that CP Scott’s maxim that “Comment is free, but facts are sacred” has never been more true, what do newspapers have on their side, if not accuracy?

This 1,357th post was filed under: Headliner, , , , , .

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