Wednesday 10 June 2009

Simon Heffer style

Simon Heffer's style notes to staff on the Telegraph are always a joy. I really like the way his latest missive to fellow journalists downplays the fact that the Telegraph has been involved in one of the greatest scoops in Fleet Street history.
Heffer begins: "My apologies for the gap since the last of these notes: we’ve all been rather busy."
As ever the funniest bits are about mistakes. Here's a sample: "Homophones continue to be a problem. The latest batch includes sewing crops, the knave of York Minster (which we, incidentally, decided to call “the York Minster”), silver-guilt and security grills. We have also had curb for kerb (not the first time: enough is enough), won for one and broaches for brooches. Other slips of words were where we wrote of “the ongoing sandal of MPs’ expenses” and a “sceptic tank”.
I also liked: "A brief word about headlines: they should not, in the news pages, pass comment except with the express permission of the editor, or when on humorous stories. And we should avoid headlines loaded with tabloid words, especially in the sports pages. “Chelsea fury as they crash out” was not really becoming of a broadsheet quality newspaper."
Heffer ends: "Finally, the round-the-world sailor Jesse Martin: when we wrote of “her” achievements we rather missed the point that “she” is a man."

1 comment:

Chris Horrie said...

Classic stuff. Keep posting on this!