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BBC Illiteracy

Free Grid Wireless World, November, 1941.
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I was talking recently about the deplorably slovenly dropping, by certain technical men, of adjectives and adjectival expressions such as the qualifying 'per-second' in expressions such as cycles-per-second. A reader has written to me about this matter, and points out that a far more glaring error which is rampant is the dropping of the noun, leaving the adjective standing alone. He accuses the BBC in particular of this boorish and illiterate abuse of the English language, and instances the regrettable use by announcers of the horrible expression: 'It was announced on the Moscow-wireless that . . .

I must say that I am heartily in agreement with him. One expects this kind of thing from women who, after all, cannot be expected to know any better, and who in the early days of electric light when I was young and unattached used to request me to turn out 'the electric'. Even men, however, are not entirely blameless in this practice, and one constantly hears loose references to St. Pauls Cathedral by people who ought to know better, but dont, and probably imagine, in their ignorance that the word Cathedral is a noun [*] Cathedral: noun. The main church of a district, under the care of a bishop.. Only last week I had to reprove a well-known bishop for this error.

Pseudo-culture and education.

From the high and mighty BBC, however, with its tradition of pseudo culture and education, one expects something a little better, and one is inclined to suspect that the scholastic attainments of some of the nabobs up at the big house are more apparent than real, like those of a certain gentleman much in the public eye, whose educational career is summarised quite truthfully in a certain book of reference as 'Eton and Oxford', although actually he passed from Eton council school direct to a business college in the city of spires.

In my opinion, there is too much of this sort of thing going on.

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