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August 1, 2008updated 27 Aug 2008 8:22pm

Giles Coren’s rant: ‘over-written, incoherent, bad-tempered, potty-mouthed’

By Grey Cardigan greyblog

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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