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Ridiculous correction requests

Ridiculous Correction Requests

Who owns the English language? If you Google that, you get lots of answers, mostly along these lines: The living speakers and writers of the English language own it collectively, and govern it by global, regional and local consensus. That’s about two billion people.” Two billion of us!

That’s interesting, because in daily travels as a hack one could get the distinct impression that it is owned by a very smaller number of rich people with public relations advisers.

Bankers are the absolute worst. Say you’re writing up a bid story. The banker, or the banker flak, will call to say the story is wrong. “There is no bid” they will complain. What they mean is that a formal bid process hasn’t been launched yet. Nevertheless, in the English meaning of the word there is mostly definitely a bid.

One wonders what the point of these complaints is. All they serve to do is make hacks less willing to adjust copy on occasions when the flak might even have a point. Forget it, the hack thinks. This lot are always moaning.

There is also a considerable difference, which some flaks seem not to get, between a slight nudge to an online piece and an actual correction in the physical newspaper. The later is a big deal; very senior executives and a lawyer have to sign off on it and they really don’t want to.

A while ago, in talks with a flak for an online nudge, he decided to say they would sue me if I didn’t change it. At that point, I can’t change it. I have to go and speak to my lawyer, who says: Do nothing. Concede no ground whatsoever. The flak lost the alteration he was seeking because he so spectacularly overplayed his hand.

Yesterday I had a demand to replace the word “profit” with “net operating income”, since that it what the statement said. Now, NOI isn’t exactly the same as profit, of which there are several different measures anyway. But in one word only, it’s close enough.

The complainers here seem to think their clients own the newspaper (and indeed the language). One day, perhaps they will. Until then, get back in your box.

UK consumers sent back more goods this Christmas than ever before, say reports.

This from parcelLab says the returns process is far short of perfection.

Tobias Buxhoidt says the report ‘highlights how the returns experience is still an unnecessarily lengthy and infuriating process and an area retailers must strive to improve”.

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