Friday, 3 August 2007

This must be birthstrangled

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells no longer writes under that name but letters by him and his peers still infest the national newspapers. Often they feature complaints about that hobgoblin of little minds, political correctness. Another common theme is the decline in standards of English prose, involving tedious pedantry over piffling errors or harmless neologisms.

But new and undesirable coinages should certainly be publicly castigated. The headline “Government downplayed animal suffering in experiments” had appeared in The Guardian, and a reader commented wittily:

Not wishing to churlishbe or mountainmake molehillwise, might you consider usestopping of the ghastly “downplay”? Or am I doorclosing after horsebolting?

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