Too Bad to Resist

Some things are simply too bad to resist commenting – just how often have I seen confusion between nadir and zenith? And there was this German book written by an expert, where a totally burnt corpse was described as “the effects of hypothermia”. Yes, verily, try not to use big or foreign words if you do not know what they mean.

Here is an example from the Culture section, no less, of the Sunday Times, two weeks ago. A classic. As in “not the first time I have seen this, I think!”

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My bet … the majority of readers will skip over this paragraph and not notice just how wrong the author is. And this has nothing to do with specific knowledge about the author Sheridan Le Fanu. Or about Irish literature. Or about the Gothic novel. Or about vampires, ghouls, ghosts and even Dublin cemeteries. No, it is one quite common English word that takes the passage into the realms of nonsense.

So, I could not resist. And, lo and behold, the editorial staff at the Sunday Times actually liked my little letter of thanks, it seems:

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Yes, I know … pedantic … rivet-counting … but somebody has to point out such idiocies that obviously still make it through quality control at one of the most quality papers. Otherwise, all will be lost. Just my opinion.

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