Dumming down at The Tellygraff – UPDATED

Okay, everybody makes a typo here and there. I’m no different and now and then I do catch one while re-reading an old post I’m about to reference or quote. However, in my defence I have to point out that the entire staff here at Chez Exile consists of me, myself and I, with cups of tea, additional opinions and interesting links to engage and enrage me occasionally provided by the lovely Mrs Exile. Thorough proof reading is often a casualty if it’s late or a nice weekend afternoon or if I’m rushing to get a post off before doing something else because I don’t have anyone else to do it. Newspapers do, so I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about taking the piss out of them for poor English. What I am starting to feel a bit guilty about is focusing on The Grauniad and its long standing rep because these days The Telegraph seems to be worse. I screen-capped an article there the other day in which “Philippines” had been given no less than four Ps in one use (still uncorrected at time of blogging), though the correct spelling had been used in the rest of the piece, but I’m not going to put it up to giggle over because I’ve since seen a better one. How unfortunate for The Teletubbiegraph that the article is about education, falling standards and the plan for pupils to lose marks for using poor English in their exams.

To their credit someone at the paper seems to have spotted and corrected it before the commenters started, but the point is that The Tele do seem to be a bit slack at checking things before hitting the publish button. Not just spelling. Whoever is responsible for pictures and captions has let a few howlers slip through. Aside from several mislabeled animals and other gaffs spotted by the Ambush Predator there’s this shotgun masquerading as an air rifle and more recently this “small-calibre weapon” (small compared to what? An artillery piece?). I mean, if you don’t understand the terms and can’t be bothered to look them up why bother with the picture at all?

And then there’s the question of what on earth they’re thinking when they select certain pictures for certain stories. Back in January for a warble gloaming doom story about how the decade was the hottest ever the picture caption read:

The Goddard Institute for Space Studies report found temperatures had been getting steadily warmer over the past three decades.

You might expect whoever does the pictures to have used a graph illustrating this claim – and surely there was one in the GISS report – but what they actually chose to show this worrying trend in all its apocalyptic glory was a stock agency photo of a blonde girl in a bikini posing on a beach.

What’s that supposed to say about the story? We’re all going to die, but some girls have got lovely tits, eh? I can’t help feeling it says more about declining standards at The Tele than anything else.

UPDATE – sadbutmadlad in the comments points out that there’s another mistake in The Tele’s picture caption. Instead of “written English” they’ve put “written english”. Good spot, SBML. The Telegraph slips a little further.

Posted on November 21, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Dumming down at The Tellygraff – UPDATED.

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