GrammarBlog

Friday, 25 July 2008

The holy Coren

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This quite magnificent email was sent by British restaurant critic Giles Coren to the newspaper he writes for. It doesn’t seem in the least petty to me.

[In a highly satirical editor's note that will no doubt leave Dan foaming at the mouth, Coren-style mad, I'd like to share a transcript of a few highlights of the letter sent by Coren.
It was the final sentence. Final sentences are very, very important. A piece builds to them, they are the little jingle that the reader takes with him into the weekend.

I wrote: "I can't think of a nicer place to sit this spring over a glass of rosé and watch the boys and girls in the street outside smiling gaily to each other, and wondering where to go for a nosh."

It appeared as: "I can't think of a nicer place to sit this spring over a glass of rosé and watch the boys and girls in the street outside smiling gaily to each other, and wondering where to go for nosh."

There is no length issue. This is someone thinking "I'll just remove this indefinite article because Coren is an illiterate cunt and i know best".

Well, you fucking don't.
He goes on to explain the correctness of the indefinite article in the context of Yiddish syntax and the puerile double entendre implied by the original phrase.

And then this:
And worst of all. Dumbest, deafest, shittest of all, you have removed the unstressed 'a' so that the stress that should have fallen on "nosh" is lost, and my piece ends on an unstressed syllable. When you're winding up a piece of prose, metre is crucial. Can't you hear? Can't you hear that it is wrong? It's not fucking rocket science. It's fucking pre-GCSE scansion. I have written 350 restaurant reviews for The Times and i have never ended on an unstressed syllable. Fuck. fuck, fuck, fuck.
Don't hurt me, Dan - Ed]

[Actually it's Gez. I don't know anyone called Ed]

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3 Comments:
Anonymous Ulises Lima said...

"I am insulted enough that you think you have a better ear for English than me."

Whoops. That's some ear for English...

25 July 2008 at 14:13  
Blogger Dan said...

Gez: and you say people in the public sector have too much time on their hands.

I can't be bother linking it to annoy you back, but there were other examples in theguardian today too. So there.

Must dash, some of us have 70,000 words to come up with by August*.

*shameless plea to be asked about the book.

25 July 2008 at 16:52  
Blogger Dan said...

Awful sentence. Too much writing of a book to focus on this web rubbish, but for the record:

'To annoy you back, I can't be bothered linking it..'

Just so that's cleared up.

25 July 2008 at 16:54  

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