Cross head 20-06-03

Appointment not needed

When I was starting out, it was drummed into me that I should never write that Doris the dinner lady had “got” an MBE. Rather, she’d been “appointed”. This rule looks to have vanished, but not from The Times, whose style guide advises: “People are appointed Privy Counsellor, Baronet, KBE, CBE, OBE, MBE etc; never say they were made, received, were awarded, or got the OBE etc.” Its writers and subs followed this instruction rigidly last week, with “appointed” cropping up again and again. Papers that broke with tradition included The Daily Telegraph, which reported that Helen Mirren had been “made” a dame, Roger Moore “receives” a knighthood, Jamie Oliver “gets” an MBE and Kristin Scott Thomas is “awarded” an OBE. The Sun and the Daily Mirror used “gets” and “receives”. In a section called “Getting It Right”, the BBC News style guide says: “People do not get a CBE, OBE, MBE. They are appointed.” Pity that its online news story had “Billy Connolly gets a CBE”, “Richard Briers gets a CBE”, “Dave Gilmour gets a CBE” and “Gerry Marsden gets an MBE”. Unless they want a job on The Times, this is one rule that trainees can forget.

A Piers familiar?

Whisper it quietly, but one day Piers Morgan and the Daily Mirror will go their separate ways. But how will the press headline the story? A search on the net came up with three uses of “It’s the end of the Piers show” – or variations of it – on stories about the great man. Will anyone be shameless enough to give it another airing?

Auntie kills off Fleet Street

The new BBC News style guide says the term “Fleet Street” is “no longer a useful synonym for the national press”. Any suggestions for a replacement? How about “Canary-Wappa-Docka-Derry-Friars”?

Quark 6 Launches

The long wait for QuarkXPress 6 is over and the software, which will run on Mac OS X 10.2 or later, will begin shipping this week. List price is £1,095, but you can upgrade from Quark 5 for £199, from Quark 4 for £299 and from Quark 3 for £399. You will also need Mac OS X, which will set you back £99. To freelance subs working from home, that’s a lot of money. Companies should be able to negotiate better deals, as Quark badly needs to stop customers switching to Adobe InDesign 2. Mac Format magazine ends a review of the beta version of Quark 6 by saying that, attractive though Quark 6 is to a seasoned user, “it’s not an InDesign-killer”.

Cross Head returns in two weeks

Next week: Dr Deadline

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