The festering scab that is the relationship between writers and subs is suppurating again after The Guardian resurrected an angry memo from Giles Coren to colleagues on The Times after a single word – and an ‘a”, at that – was excised from one of his restaurant reviews.
I won’t go into detail – I’m sure every hack in the land has seen it by now – but Coren’s over-written, incoherent, bad-tempered, potty-mouthed rant displayed a degree of preciousness not often seen outside an American juvenile beauty pageant.
Yes, in Coren’s mind the subs fucked up what was a not very funny and extremely over-played joke, but did they really deserve the spittle-flecked abuse hurled at them?
I am a sub – a chief sub as it happens, but still a sub – with all the meticulous misanthropy that entails. I suffer death by a thousand cuts every time a literal or a confused sentence or a poor heading appears in my newspaper.
When I go to my grave, I already know that the illiterate bastard of a stonemason will misplace an apostrophe on my headstone just to torment me throughout eternity.
Maybe I deserve it.
You may have noticed that I also write a bit. That then exposes me to the attentions of other subs over whom I have no control, so I can see this eternal argument from both sides.
And yes, very occasionally a spot of grammatical GBH leaves me ranting and raving at the moon, particularly if it fucks up a joke, but I can honestly say that I have been saved by subs many more times than my perfect prose has been savaged.
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