Thursday, February 24, 2011

BBC Style, accuracy and grammar

I have often said that the three best things to come from Britain are the Beatles, Marmite and the BBC. But sometimes I wonder about that last one.

The BBC's on-line presence seems to be making more and more style, accuracy and grammar mistakes. I often report them to their feedback site, including this example which pertains to my greatest fear - general public acceptance of apostrophes misplaced into plurals.

"One proposal that was approved was a requirement that unopposed candidate's for the company's board receive a majority in order to be appointed." [link]

Or perhaps I'm just very old-fashioned.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Australian Floods: 35 confirmed + 9 missing presumed dead vs Pakistan Floods: 1,985 dead.

New Zealand earthquake: 75 dead vs Haïti earthquake: 316,000+ dead.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Death of Libraries (at least in the Developed World)

The BBC just ran a debate on "Are libraries finished? Five arguments for and against" amid the threat of closure for 400 British libraries.

This is something I've been thinking about.

The BBC's five arguments for the survival of libraries were:

1. Specialist research
2. Environment to learn
3. Expert staff
4. Free internet access
5. Engage in local democracy

The five counter-arguments were:

1. Searchability
2. Digital books
3. Comfort in numbers
4. Brings niches together
5. Self-publishing

I am not automatically in favor of new technology but I am thoroughly persuaded by the counter-arguments. I say turn the libraries into social centres (with free Internet access) and don't look back.

Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like

Thanks to my friend Helen I have discovered this hilarious-because-it's-true site about Expat Air Workers: Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like. (It makes me think I have some expat cred...)