Cross Head

Cross head

the sub with a wild swing

Stuff it where the sun………. My appearance on the cover of Stuff magazine, below, has not met with universal acclaim. This well-intentioned bid to raise the profile of subs – and possibly wangle a freebie out of those nice Apple Macintosh people – landed me in hot water with one stick-in-the-mud sub of the old school. While congratulating me on my choice of summer clothing (and I hear all Press Gazette’s subs are now wearing skimpy bikinis), he berated me for setting a bad example. He said my screen was far too low and should be raised to eye level. He also complained about my posture and leg positioning. “Listen, wise guy,” I told him. “Men have been pointing their groins at computer screens for years and it hasn’t done them any harm.” With that he flounced off to the loo with a well-thumbed copy of Fowler’s Modern English Usage. Takes all sorts, I suppose.

Why Do They Do That?

A tired and emotional chief sub on a weekly B2B magazine cornered me in a South London hostelry recently to tell me: “My subbing team has just been through the most punishing, exhausting period of the year, culminating – thanks to some ridiculously bad planning – in three back-to-back awards supplements and the biggest issue for almost 12 months. All hindered by a niggling IT problem. On the day the magazine came out, a reporter came to me and said: ‘You’ve spelt a word wrong in this pull quote.’ Since then I haven’t been able to open the magazine. I’m left feeling it’s all been a total failure and balls-up. Why do they do that to you?” I could only nod sympathetically and urge him to write to my wise colleague, Dr Deadline, for words of advice.

CRITICAL CONFUSION One of Cross Head’s many fans e-mailed me about a recent item on Radio 4 9am news. The condition of a man who set fire to himself in London was described as “critical but not life-threatening”.

Er… the dictionary definition of critical, is of course: “so seriously injured or ill as to be in danger of dying”. n

Cross Head returns in two weeks lNext week: Dr Deadline

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