Wednesday 25 February 2009

'How did you know the whiskey was Irish?' A tribute to the Lincolnshire Echo subs

The truth is I didn't know the "whiskey" was Irish. I had just started as a trainee reporter on the Lincolnshire Echo and a sub was querying my copy about a shoplifting case from the local Magistrates' Court.
I would loved to have been able to tell him it was a bottle of Jameson's that had been nicked from the Lincoln Co-op but I really thought there was an 'e' in whisky.
He put me straight. There is no 'e' in Scotch whisky but there is in Irish whiskey. Not long after that he came chuckling over to me holding a piece of copy in which I had written about someone being on "tender hooks."
Like most reporters I thought most subs were a miserable bunch of pedants. But as Northcliffe plans to ship the Echo subs miles away, across the Humber to Hull, I can't imagine a newsroom without them.
As a new reporter they caught your mistakes and saved you, and more importantly the newspaper, from making embarrassing blunders. They gave you the benefit of their experience.
Starting out in a newsroom without subs. It would be like growing up without parents.
So I shall raise a glass of whiskey to them.
Note to subs: It's a Jameson's.

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