It’s easy to detect the Telegraph‘s disgust when reporting that a Head teacher has been forced to apologise for an error-laden report – it is, after all, the paper of Simon Heffer. The journalist duly comments that the fourteen errors ‘indicate a need for the teacher to be sent back to primary school’.
More surprising, for me, was the content of the discussion thread that followed the article, in which many of the commenters end up tearing into the Telegraph‘s journalist and editors – and even each for misplaced pedantry. Here’s a taste – you can read them if full here:
There’s also the cretinous use of a comma instead of a full stop, right after the “8’s”.
So says ‘Col Dee’ (hardly diplomatic language – oops, we’ve just learnt from Wikileaks how diplomats really talk).
‘Dunces’ hats’ has an apostrophe. Several hats belong to several dunces or possibly Telegraph reporters….
“7’s and 8’s” should not have apostrophes. There is no ownership, just a description of a group. The Telegraph should have spotted this….
This provoked ‘micha2600’ to complain:
Unfortunately the readers of the DT seem to have lost their grasp of reality and appear to prefer navel gazing and discussing minutii….
Which elicited the response:
Actually, minutii (sic) should be minutiae as it comes from a Latin rather than a Greek root.
At least ‘osaycanuck’ had the good grace to add:
Should that error detract from the meaning of what the writer was trying to say? IMHO, no.
The use of the abbreviation IMHO in the response here is hardly the norm for, say, a report to parents, though part of the lingua franca of online conversation. It’s all a matter of register (as teacher might say) isn’t it?