Martin Newell’s Joy of Essex: Thank goodness we’re not still in the 16th century

Martin Newell

Martin Newell - Credit: Archant

If we were living and working in an earlier Elizabethan era, I might well be an editor without a head - certainly if the Blackadder version is to be believed! As it is, in these more tolerant days, I am only an editor with a slightly red face. The reason for my embarrassment? We demoted the Queen.

As was noticed by Valerie Upson and a few other correspondents, in a story about a dog which might be meeting the Monarch, we wrongly afforded the Queen the title of Her Royal Highness, instead of Her Majesty. My apologies.

I have sent a note to all of our journalists reminding them of two things: firstly, it’s not complicated - only one person is called “Her Majesty’’. Secondly, it’s not our style to use “Her Majesty’’ or “Her Royal Highness’’ anyway - just say “the Queen.’’

The front page of a newspaper is made up of various elements - each of them vitally important. The main story is the “splash’’, the small snippets down the side are “sidebars’’, the promotional element below the masthead is the “teaser’’, and the line of text above the masthead is the “sky box’’. One of the worst crimes we can commit is to get something wrong in any of the above - but we did that last Saturday.

Norman Coltham wrote in to point out that in last Saturday’s “sky box’’ in the Essex edition, we said the Martin Newell column was on page 10, but it was really on page 16. He says: “Martin Newell’s column was on page 10 for a long time but, in recent months, it’s been on page 16 - and that’s where it was on Saturday. Or perhaps there is no communication between your subs when changes are made?’’

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It’s not the subs’ fault. I think someone travelled back in time when they made that mistake. Sorry.

I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with outgoing MP Tim Yeo this week. However, one error leapt out at me, and it was also spotted by Elizabeth Cain, who says: “‘David Cameron rung Tim Yeo multiple times.’ I sincerely hope this was a typo!’’ Yes, I’m sure it was.

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Two words there would have annoyed fellow Old Framlinghamian Tony Martin - not only “rung’’ but also “multiple’’.

Tony has written to me to complain about “multiple’’ being used when “many’’ is correct. He says: “I think in our old Fram days, multiple would only have been used in maths lessons, eg. a number being described as a multiple of another.’’

Have a good week.

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