May 27, 2008

Continuing that strange obsession with BBC Online

Picture report

Complaint form:
Can I ask - were the captions written by somebody who is not a native English speaker?

First caption: "for a position”. Should be "for a place".

Second: "10,000 less fans". Should be "fewer".

Third: "27 incredible league wins". Should be "an incredible 27".

Fourth: "has just keeper Casper Ankergren to thank". Should omit the word "just".

Fifth: "One of the early chances of the match comes from". Should be "falls to".

Sixth: "The fight continues in the first half with Danish keeper, Ankergren, stopping more goals". Neither "fight" nor “goals" is correct here.

Seventh: "After Leeds fightback at the end of the first half, all changes as the second opens, as unmarked Hayter heads home a 10-yard goal". Either "Leeds" should be followed by an apostrophe, or it should be "fight back". "All change" is not a plural unless you want to say "everything changes". "Open" should be "begins" or "kicks off" or something similar and it should be "a goal from ten yards".

Eighth: "Haytor ends a four-month goal drought in front of cheering Donny fans, as they step toward Championship promotion". The final phrase is wrong and should be something like "as they take a step towards promotion to the Championship". "Hayter" is the correct spelling.

Ninth: "Jason Price works the pitch remarkably in both attack and defence, making successful tackles". Neither "works the pitch remarkably" nor "making successful tackles" is good English.

Tenth: "Whites' fans watch scuppered chances". "Whites" is not apostrophised here as it's not considered a possessive. "Chances" are not "scuppered".

Eleventh: "The players are relieved and victorious as the whistle is finally blown". I don't think "victorious" is the word you're looking for here and I also think you want to say "final whistle".

Twelfth: "misery shares the pitch" is not really colloquial English.

Thirteenth: "Rovers have gladly secured a place in the second tier". We don't say "gladly" in this context.

I would be amazed if this report was written without the aid of an online translation service. Can the BBC not do better than that?


At May 27, 2008 6:35 pm, Blogger Sean said...

I'm rather ashamed to admit that many of these would have escaped my attention. This is partly because I'm a bit of berk and partly because I can't quite get my head around the 25000 fans who have emerged from the Doncaster woodwork. Where the hell did they come from? Poor old Dave Cusack only managed 3000 in the old Division 3.

At May 28, 2008 8:38 am, Blogger ejh said...

I should point out of course that "chances" can be "scuppered", but not individually.

At June 10, 2008 3:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just read your blog, and the associated BBC article. You must be proud that they have heeded some of your complaints and made alterations! Curiously, they have stubbornly ignored others. As I always say, "Misery shares the pitch."


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