Filed by: Officer Taylor
Here at the SAGP, we are gradually becoming aware that criticising the writing in sports reports is not dissimilar to shooting fish in a barrel. Any minute now, we're going to go on a five-case fast from football reports. But just before we do that, here is an absolute beauty, once again from our old friend the Guardian.
It's in a report on an argument between Aston Villa manager Graham Taylor and a fan of the team:
Taylor explained: ``I'm not to keen on people sitting three or four yards from me and using that kind of language.''
Taylor added: ``This is one of the teams that everyone is giving the championship title too.''
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
It's a bit of a tragedy that we even have to do this, but here goes.
What Graham Taylor actually said, then - and what the reporter should have written - is:
Taylor explained: ``I'm not too keen on people sitting three or four yards from me and using that kind of language.''
Taylor added: ``This is one of the teams that everyone is giving the championship title to.''
To make one of these mistakes might be considered unfortunate - especially as an automated spell-checker won't help with this. But to make both, equal and opposite, mistakes in the space of a few paragraphs looks like carelessness.
We've said it before, and we'll say it again: no amount of deadline pressure is excuse enough to overlook such basic proofreading. Accordingly, we sentence the reporter to have his toes cut off so that he keeps falling over whenever he tries to walk anywhere.