Case 20: So can you see through him or not?

19th August 2002

Filed by: Officer Taylor

The Offence

Sometimes, you really have to wonder what football journalists are on, don't you? Here was are once again at that dependable old organ, the Guardian, with a match report:

Surprisingly chosen to replace the apparently undroppable Heskey as Michael Owen's strike partner, the Senegal World Cup star rewarded Liverpool's manager Gérard Houllier with a translucent Premiership debut.


The Verdict

Translucent \Trans*lu"cent\, adj. Transmitting rays of light without permitting objects to be distinctly seen; partially transparent.

Usage: A thing is translucent when it merely admits the passage of light, without enabling us to distinguish the color and outline of objects through it; it is transparent when we can clearly discern objects placed on the other side of it. Glass, water, etc., are transparent; ground glass is translucent.

- Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

We find the Guardian guilty of using an adjective bearing no relation whatsoever to the noun which it modifies. A footballer's first appearance for a new team can no more be translucent than it can be ancillary, bijective or crepuscular.

Do these people not have dictionaries?

The Sentence

Death's too good for them. But it's pretty much the harshest punishment we have available, so death it is.

Next case!

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