Rantings of a sub-editor

February 8, 2010

Hordes of discreet sub-editors…

Filed under: David Marsh,discreet/discrete,horde/hoard — substuff @ 9:30 am
Tags: ,

David Marsh, editor of the Guardian’s style guide, has written a column in praise of subs today. Quite right too! However, I am not entirely sure I could live up to the following claim. I’m all for subs, but can’t help but think there must be more useful people to be marooned with. Bear Grylls. Sean Bean (just me?) And who wants their cry of “I have less and less reasons to live” to be met with “Do you mean ‘less reason’, or ‘fewer reasons’?”

If you are ever shipwrecked with a journalist, God help you, Charlie Brooker might be funnier and Polly Toynbee better at explaining the advantages of the alternative vote system, but trust me: you will be much better off with a sub if you need an all-round journalist to write, edit and produce the desert island newspaper and website.

In the feedback section, I noticed, someone had a pop at the Guardian over hoard and horde. And I had a sudden panic that I didn’t know the difference. I then realised I did know the difference. And I then realised that even though I knew the difference, it’s a mistake I too would likely have overlooked (I let through “water metre” last week, luckily picked up by Kit in time). But no longer! So thank you to Leopold1904 and his/her scathing observations.

Here, for the unenlightened, that you may be enlightened.

hoard:
a stock or store of money or valued objects, typically one that is secret or guarded

horde:
a large group of people
an army or tribe of nomadic warriors
a loosely knit small social group

And while I’m at it, let’s do discreet and discrete, too. I’ve been meaning to for a while.

discreet:
careful and circumspect in one’s speech and actions, especially in order to avoid causing offence or to gain an advantage

discrete:
individually separate and distinct

Ahhh, that’s better. Nothing like a bit of OED to start a week. Now musing on whether I should make myself a little style guide for my blog. A style guide all of my own… ooohhhh…

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