BBC ENGLISH

By Two Legs Good

Some time ago the BBC was considered a bastion of the English language. Obviously, the days of the 'Received Pronunciation' accent are long gone, but it now seems that the standards of written communication are slipping too.

This is most obvious on the BBC news channel. Grammar is a luxury that is all but ignored, and as for spelling, well... correct spelling appears to be optional.

Here's a couple of current examples. At the time of writing this piece there are only two news stories on the rotating news banners. (We understand our cousins in the American colonies call them 'Chyrons' - sounds like something Doctor Who would fight, but it's a convenient term so we'll use it for the time being.)

News International are apologising 'unreservedy'.
Not 'unreservedly', but 'unreservedy'.


There's been a shooting on a nuclear 'sumbarine'.
Not a 'submarine', but a 'sumbarine'.

These mistakes are left to rotate around our screens, often for hours at a time. Many are never corrected, they only disappear when a new headline takes it's place.

Where are the editors and sub-editors? Why are standards so lax?

These aren't long, complex paragraphs. These aren't novels. They're headlines, or sub-headlines. They're short, they're simple. They should not be a challenge!

Really, can the writers not even press the 'spellcheck' button? Are they both that arrogant and ignorant at the same time?

Do they really care so little about how Britain is portrayed to the world?

Do they really care so little about their own standard of work?

Have they no pride, no self-respect?

Perhaps the most unfortunate one of these we've seen was during a report on the government wishing to test possible immigrants to make sure they had a basic working knowledge of English:


Yes - the BBC really did report that this concerned 'immigrants wishing to come Britain to marry'. Presumably travelling for many moon, or in belly of great white bird.




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