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07 July 2014

The BBC boobs again

Saltwater crocodile in Queensland, Australia
According to the BBC, if you were to grab this animal by the tail,
you would be wrapping your tail around it - which would be difficult
if you were a human being and did not have a tail.
The BBC continues to amaze me with its sloppy proof-reading or illiterate editors—I am not sure which is dominant. I wish I had more time to write about its mistakes, as it might be quite instructive. The Corporation used to be so pedantic and correct it was known as “Aunty”. Not any more.
     In a story today about an attack on a zoo-keeper in Australia by a crocodile, the great Corporation wrote this:
A zookeeper has been attacked by a crocodile during a feeding show at a zoo in the Australian state of New South Wales. Trent Burton managed to break free after the 3.7m (12ft) male reptile grabbed him by the teeth and dragged him into the water. Mr Burton was being treated for minor puncture injuries to both hands. (emphasis added)
     The words in italics are complete nonsense if the last sentence is true. 
     They imply that when you “take somebody by the scruff of the neck”, that person finds him or herself restrained by part of your neck. Is it possible that when you grab someone by the throat, you still have your hands free to, for example, stroke their hair or riffle through their wallet? 
     I don’t think so, Aunty. What you should have written was that the crocodile “grabbed him in (or with) its teeth.”

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