Rantings of a sub-editor

January 19, 2011

Extreme editing

Filed under: esteemed persons — substuff @ 2:55 pm
Tags: ,

If you take the train northwards between Elephant & Castle and London Bridge on a bright and blustery morning (looking out of the right-hand window, to be specific), you may have the good fortune to see the following graffiti. (Bright and blustery mornings are optional.)

Written in huge white letters, at least a foot high, on a brick wall:


But what’s that? Look closer, and you’ll see that it originally read:


The last three words have been scrubbed off. Why? Well, I guess because “slut” was deemed offensive enough to need removing.

I assume the scrubbing was done either by rail company employees or the local council. What I really want to know, however, is who made the decision to remove three of the five words, rather than just the one. I like to imagine it was the person with the scrubbing brush, but it could have been someone in an office somewhere. Either way, I’d like to say to that individual: you rock!

I’m imagining their internal monologue (bucket of soapy water in hand).

“Okay, so I get rid of SLUT.” [Scrub, scrub, sweat.]

“But… that leaves BUDGET CUTS AND CORPORATE… that doesn’t make sense. There’s nothing for it, I’m going to have to take off AND CORPORATE, too. Here goes…” [Scrub, scrub, sweat, scrub, scrub.]

“Ah, that’s better. BUDGET CUTS. Yes, at least that’s tidy and not grammatically incorrect. A good morning’s work.”

It makes hitting the delete key (or even ctrl+F8, not that we use it here, grumble grumble, but I digress) seem positively lazy.



  1. I don’t imagine the person who did the scrubbing has my sense of humour as otherwise they may have removed CUTS AND CORPORATE and added a HERE 😉

    Comment by Simon — January 19, 2011 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

  2. I imagine they originally had a budget to scrub out all five words and then – oh the irony – the austerity drive meant that they had to keep two of them.

    This may not necessarily have been a political message. It could have been a south London barber offering £5 trims.

    Comment by Paddy — January 20, 2011 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

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