Keen Simon Heffer watchers will have greatly enjoyed reading the Daily Telegraph associate editor’s angry email to staff castigating them for a series of embarrassing spelling, style and grammatical errors.
But Axegrinder is surprised that Heffer hasn’t picked up on another example of his paper’s reporters and subs blatantly ignoring the Telegraph‘s Style Book (author, Mr S Heffer).
The section covering ‘banned words” includes ‘iconic”, yet this appears almost daily. In the month of November alone, ‘iconic’has been used to describe the following:
Sydney Opera House
Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Hotel
Rugby League player Ian Roberts
Chanel No.5 perfume
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres
Luke Skywalker’s lightsabre
Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour
Guy Peellaert’s images of the rock and roll stars
the hotel Fairmount Chateau Lake Louise
BBC Television Centre
Maradona’a Hand of God goal
the QE2 liner (three times)
QE2’s red funnel
a motorbike’s Smiths Chronometric speedo
Picos de Europa National Park in Spain
Beijing’s aquatics centre and Bird’s Nest stadium
a Bentley V8 engine
Cascades development in London’s Docklands
Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo and images by American photographer Steven Meisel (both used by Telegraph fashion director Hilary Alexander on November 11)
Life magazine photo of sailor in Times Square kissing a nurse on VJ Day 1945
Alton Towers’ Corkscrew ride
fashion designer Adriana Degreas’ men’s swimming trunks, women’s bikinis and one-piece costumes, gold and sepia silk kaftan printed with a life-size image of Christ the redeemer (yes, it’s Hilary Alexander again)
New York’s Plaza building
the Tetley Brewery in Leeds
Beverly Wilshire hotel in Los Angeles
Hamilton Hall overlooking the 18th green of St Andrews Golf Club’s Old Course
photographer Karsh’s image of Winston Churchill
the red telephone box
Porsche 911 sports car and VW Beetle (in the same article, by Louise Armitstead)
Hillary Clinton crying in New Hampshire.
The Guardian took much pleasure in revealing Heffer’s email so perhaps now is the time to point out that the subs and writers at Farringdon Road are far from perfect. Let’s take the words “icon” and “iconic”. The Guardian style guide reminds staff that, as a result of overuse, these are ‘in danger of losing all meaning”.
The guide points out that the these words have been ’employed to describe anything vaguely memorable or well-known – from Weetabix, Dr Martens boots and the Ferrero Rocher TV ads to Jimi Hendrix’s final gigs, a plinth in Trafalgar Square and drains”.
Despite the warning, the words keep appearing in The Guardian, ‘icon’popping up 38 times in November and ‘iconic’35 times.