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Henry Hitchings’ Language Wars

September 23, 2011

Last week I reviewed Henry Hitchings’ The Language Wars for the Indie on Sunday. I enjoyed the book and made it my lead review. Unfortunately some half-witted sub gratuitously amended the piece, transforming it into the gibberings of a lunatic.
The offending passage ran as follows (my capitals and parenthetical comments): ‘He is primarily a descriptivist AND confesses to being annoyed by the hyper-correction “between you and I”‘ (NO! That has to be ‘but’. If he is a descriptivist he won’t be annoyed) ‘BUT he sympathises with the prescriptivists and sees that protest against change is as necessary and natural as change itself’ (NO! That has to be ‘and’. If he is annoyed by hyper- correction then it follows that he sympathises with the prescriptivists).
What can one say? Someone whose actual job it is to sub-edit can’t understand the text they are supposed to be editing. I just hope that if Henry Hitchings read that confusing review, he also reads this too. Sorry, Henry.

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2 Comments
  1. C. Robshaw permalink

    “He’s a complicated man
    But no-one understands him but his woman”

  2. Henry Hitchings permalink

    I was bemused, but now I understand – and sympathize!

    or rather,

    I was bemused, and now I understand – but sympathize!

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