back to article Phone-hack backlash BBC in embarrassing headline gaffes

We at Vulture Central know only too well that it has been an extremely busy week in the world of phone-hacking for reporters across the land, but that's surely no excuse for this worrisome piece of sloppy copy from none other than Auntie this morning. The BBC news magazine has thankfully now corrected its "Phone-hacking: The …


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  1. Marky W

    More importantly

    WTF is that thing in the bottom right corner of the picture?!

    Body part or sex toy?

    1. Oliver Mayes

      Artificial windpipe

      It was the first lab grown organ successfully transplanted into a living human.

    2. Archie The Albatross


      Yes it is.....all of the above.

    3. Bumpy Cat

      An artificial trachea ...

      A victim of throat cancer lost his trachea and was near death. The new trachea was grown from his stem cells on some sort of framework, and the transplant/implant was a success.

    4. Onyx26


      It's a body part. Do you not read the news!? Oh wait...

    5. Drew Scott
      Thumb Up

      Body part

      I believe that was the story published about the synthetic trachea.


      1. Marky W

        Oh, I see.

        Thanks for the responses. I've been on hols, missed recent news, etc (btw what's all this to-do with the NotW?)

        Still think it looks more like an artificial lady-pocket that a throat though. Although either could serve the same purpose I guess...aaaaand I'm off home now.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          at a guess?

  2. fixit_f
    Thumb Down

    Bloody hell

    That's absolutely shocking

  3. Gert Selkobi
    Thumb Down

    A common mistake.

    Although not one that is acceptable from such a high and mighty organisation as the BBC, this is a very common mistake. Last night I was reading through some technical articles on OpenBSD network security, written by an obviously intelligent person, which was littered with the exact same gotcha. If people only read their work back to themselves in a proof reading exercise, this would be easily caught.

    Awaits grammar check report from fellow commentards.

  4. BenDwire

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    That is all.

  5. Old Painless

    I don't want to seem overly harsh...

    ..but anyone who uses the meaningless "COULD OF" instead of the meaningful "could've" should be killed on the spot

    Firm but firm, thats me

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Try ...

      ... littered with exactly the same 'gotchas'.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Guten Tag

      Guten Tag Herr Commentard - I'm happy to oblige

      Your statement "which was" should be "which were" as you wouldn't say "the articles was".

      Also "proof reading" should be "proofreading".

      I'm also a little unhappy about the penultimate sentence.

      I now await "You call yourself a grammar nazi?!" replies...

      1. Bumpy Cat

        Muphry's Law

        If you post a reply pointing out a grammar or spelling error, you will make a grammar or spelling error yourself.

        (checks post very carefully)

        1. nyelvmark

          No, that's Skitt's law.

          Murphy's law runs (in one variation): Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

          Muphry's law is unknown to me, oddly.

        2. Glenn Booth

          @Bumpy Cat: That's not Murphy's law

          It's Skitt's law. Murphy had nothing to do with it. :-)

    3. Studley

      Oh, sweet irony

      I wholeheartedly agree, but I assume you're less of a stickler for apostrophes?

      1. Anonymous Coward



      2. Oz

        Oh sweet irony (part 2)

        ... or full stops?

        1. Noons
          Thumb Up

          this is not a title


      3. Eponymous Bastard

        Split infinitive!

        I wholeheartedly agree

        You wholeheartedly agree

        He / She wholeheartedly agrees . . .


        1. The Indomitable Gall

          @Eponymous Bastard

          What split infinitive? "I agree" is in the present tense, not the infinitive....

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Split Infinitives

          Split infinitives have occurred in English for ... 800 years? And since English is defined by common usage can we please put this nonsense to bed now?

    4. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Paris Hilton


      Everything I write and publish is a work of art and 100% correct until someone points in the first sentence its complete gibberish and their eyes have started bleeding from its hidiousness.

      You need someone else who has not seen the work before to read through it and see what mistakes they find.

      Paris because I probably just wrote a load of gibberish.

    5. Thomas 4


      Real clock up there.

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

    7. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      I would just like to comment..

      .. that it is compulsory for any grammar correcting post to MISspell the word Intelligent. This is commonly done by omitting one "l" (that is "L" for those who use a sans-serif font).

      Kind regards, your average troll. And have a nice weekend too. :-)

  6. Rebajas
    IT Angle

    Slow tech day...?

    Really, El Reg is reporting on grammar errors? Must be a slow day in the office.

  7. robert Tracey

    thats not as bad as there other headline

    did anyone see this headline as well today? (print screen used as they have fixed it now)

  8. Swoop

    Tut-tut, Auntie

    Well, who'd of thought it?

  9. The Electron

    Pot - kettle!

    It is not just the BBC (or El Reg) who seem to have trouble with spelling and grammar. Plenty of online and print media make silly mistakes, such using metre instead of meter (and vice-versa) and getting the SI units wrong (MHz, not mhz)!

    The problem stems from the "education" system. Whilst I was studying BTEC National Certificate and Higher National Certificate in Electronic Engineering, I was pleased to see how each year, we re-visited and revised the previous year's work, then added to its complexity. Schools should adopt this approach when teaching maths and English. You could ask me to 'conjugate a verb', but I cannot remember how!

  10. Anonymous Coward


    There are some great headlines on the BBC website from time to time. Like the one a couple of months ago: "Live: Osama bin Laden Dead"

  11. doperative

    "Phone-hacking: The other news you might 'ave missed, in'it"

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Not just grammar

      It's been updated with a spelling error too!

    2. Anonymous Coward

      thats not as bad as *there* other headline?

      As *their* surely?

    3. Scott Mckenzie


      Especially considering the usual standards on the Reg are way below that of the BBC!

    4. BorkedAgain

      I think you mean...


      1. Richard 102

        Or rather

        I've been thinking, but I ain't thunk!

      2. Michael Dunn



    5. Studley

      And again...

      My favourite in recent memory was an article about the launch of Halo: Reach. The first version of the article had an image of John-117 subtitled along the lines of "Master Chef is back for another explosive adventure".

    6. peter_dtm
      Thumb Down


      Hz - cycles per second (herz)

      m - millie

      M - mega

      - rule of thumb for most SI multipliers

      upper case = multiplier

      lower case - divisor

      mHz = millie herz

      MH = mega herz

      notable exception k = kilo as in

      km = kilometres (1000 metres) or kHz (1000 Hz)

      1. David 30


        Who is this millie?

      2. BorkedAgain
        Thumb Up

        Very good Peter.

        Also, there's a difference (a factor of eight) between Mb and MB.

        b - bit

        B - byte (8 bits)

        Obviously this shouldn't be a shock to anyone on here, but the number of times some numpty gets those confused when trying to sell me internet access drives me potty.

        (Mental image of toilet with steering wheel. Must lie down...)

  12. Anonymous Coward 101

    What a bunch of...


  13. Oliver Mayes

    Not exactly newsworthy

    I don't think a single day has gone by where I've not found at least one spelling/grammatical error in an BBC news article. I can't believe that no-one is bothering to check any of their stories before publishing.

  14. DJV Silver badge

    Surely knot?

    But, surely, that should of bin "Shirley knot?"

    1. Noons

      Re: Surely knot?

      Know, it shoed knot.

    2. Christopher W

      Shurely shome mishtake

      i frequently find myself reaching for the "Contact the Editors" page to inform them of misspelt words or poor grammatical constructions. It's really very disappointing.

      I had English Comprehension, English Language *AND* grammar lessons at school. I grew to love my engagement with my mother tongue and I feel pretty confident that I can both speak and write to a high, consistent level with minimal errors. I certainly take pride in the fact that I can use their, there and they're appropriately (and the same for its / it's / its' - SERIOUSLY, IT'S NOT THAT HARD). The plague of hyphens slowly infesting written British English is a particular bugbear too... Hyphen-this, intersected-that! Unnecessary and illogical in some cases.

      The old gem I always wheel out in these situations is a crudely handwritten sign outside the village where I grew up: "TRACTOR,S TURNING"

      Mine's the one with the Oxford Super Compact Pico Pocket English Dictionary in it

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge


        .. you too shall eventually succumb to the "teh" problem as your word processor (be it MS Office, OpenOffice or now even the Apple autocorrect in Lion and anything iOS) is busy ramming that into your muscle memory with unrelenting force. You can thank Microsoft for that.

        Eats, shoots, and leaves.


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