Cross head 14-03-03

The sub who gives a futura book

would you give him one? A source of some irritation to subs is Andrew Lloyd Webber. It’s not his face or his music; it’s the hyphen. The blighter’s name changes depending on whether he’s being a luvvie or a peer of the realm. The Guardian style guide instructs its sub-editors to use “Lord Lloyd-Webber but Andrew Lloyd Webber”, while The Times says that: “All family members (father William and sons Andrew and Julian) have no hyphen except in reference to Andrew as Lord Lloyd-Webber.” A case of the dodgy tunesmith putting on airs and graces? Not so. Apparently, when Lloyd Webber was made a peer, the old dears who run the House of Lords added the hyphen. David Lloyd George also got one. It’s a tradition. And one well past its sell-by date.

Good head

Is this why the PM wants to bring the Iraqi dictator to his knees?: “Saddam can blow us in 45 min: Blair” (South Africa’s Business Day).

Network news

Freelance subs could do worse than join the UK Subs network (http://mailman.greennet.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/uksubs-l). In recent weeks there have been messages posted about freelance pay and conditions; who is looking for freelances; contact numbers for chief subs and advice for those who want to sub from home. It is hosted by the London Freelance Branch of the NUJ but is open to all and is a Dave Spart-free zone.

Stiff or on the slide?

We hear of a sub who changed copy to say The Godfather starred “the late James Caan”. Despite cocaine addiction in the Nineties, Caan is still very much alive. “I confused him with James Coburn,” the sub explains: He should bookmark www.whosaliveandwhosdead.com. It sorts out the celebs who have vanished from the gossip columns and are just “media dead” from those who are actual stiffs.

That friday feeling

It’s 3.30pm on Friday, you’re at home watching Frank Windsor trying to sell you a policy to cover “those final expenses”. The phone rings and it’s a chief sub asking you to do a shift on Monday. How do you respond? An immediate “Yes, yes, I’m free” may sound too desperate. Do you fib and say, “Let me do some juggling with dates, make a few calls and I’ll get back to you”? For the sake of your reputation, is it better to always say ‘”no”? And chief subs, does the freelance booked on Friday afternoon for Monday always turn out to be a dud?

Cross Head returns in two weeks

Next week: Dr Deadline

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