diamond geezer

 Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Ombudsman's Report

It is with regret that I must inform all subscribers that the Diamond Geezer Quality Threshold has been breached.

This has been triggered by twelve consecutive days of posts containing at least one error pointed out by a member of the general readership.

Strict remedial measures will be introduced, commencing with the publication of this report. Compensation will be paid in full.


Day 1: Friday 26th January 2018 (Random station project)
Susan emailed to point out a repeated word in the final paragraph ("for every every London station"). The error was corrected within 78 minutes.

Day 2: Saturday 27th January 2018 (Random station - Fairlop)
Roger kicked off by pointing out that the last sentence ("the station really isn't very away") needed a 'far' added. A 'far' was added.
Joho queried the adverbial phrase "echoingly similarly", leading to one of the suffixes being deleted.
Rob noted an incorrect spelling of the local neighbourhood, asserting "I think you’ll find it's Fullwell in these parts. Fulwell is near Twickenham." Four occurrences in the text, along with one photo label and three Flickr tags, were surreptitiously updated.

Day 3: Sunday 28th January 2018 (Random bus route - 293)
Description of the bus journey suggested that the headgear being worn by a toddler in a buggy was "a woolly hat with endearing dinosaur ears." Milo was swift to query the anatomical veracity of these knitted protrusions. "At the risk of appearing a tad pedantic could you remind us all which dinosaur it was that sported ears? (external ears that is. I assume they had internal ones much like the reptiles/ birds of today)". The general consensus was that the author's anthropomorphic interpretation had been flawed. No rectification has been made.
Despite the word 'Perrinesque' not actually existing, it was misspelt, as Waterhouse promptly noted.

Day 4: Monday 29th January 2018 (Apsley House/Wellington Arch)
Injudicious use of the cut and paste function led to the ridiculous claim that the admission price at the Wellington Arch was £5.00 (£11.20 inc. Wellington Arch). This slipshod error was pointed out by four different people, including DG's father, and was not corrected for over an hour because the author was still asleep. More care must be taken when setting posts to auto-publish.
SJM did some proper research relating to the quadriga atop the Wellington Arch. "I don't think it's Nike that's at the reigns, but a boy." Technically they're reins, but SJM was otherwise correct.

Day 5: Tuesday 30th January 2018 (Hold the handrail)
It took less than an hour for Martin to query the assertion that the only escalators at Circle & Hammersmith and City line group stations are at Moorgate and Liverpool Street. "There are also short escalators at Paddington on the H&C," he said. Whilst these lead to the Bakerloo line, Martin was technically correct, invalidating several of the subsequent qualitative arguments.

Day 6: Wednesday 31st January 2018 (Super blue blood moon)
Andrew chipped in with several points. The post had suggested that a lunar eclipse appears red following lunar reflection, but Andrew knew the effect was due to earlier atmospheric refraction, specifically Rayleigh scattering. He also knew that the albedo of the surface of the moon is low, specifically 0.12, so most of the light is not reflected back. He also queried how New Zealand could ever get a blue moon in February, given that the month has no more than 29 days, but this was never claimed in the post so did not count as a third black mark.
GJ had a more serious query regarding the assertion that the UK had seen a super blue blood moon in December 1982. He provided evidence from NASA that the lunar eclipse had been invisible from London, invalidating the 'blood' aspect, although the claim would of course have been true in Iceland.

Day 7: Thursday 1st February 2018 (The Count)
Count number 4 has again been listed as "Number of hours each day I sleep", on this occasion attached to a numerical value of 188. Last year reader B queried how DG could possibly have slept for nearly 200 hours a day, and reader shirokazan said "I suspect he meant to write 'Number of hours slept', omitting the 'each day' bit". This was wise advice, but remained unheeded, hence this year it was reader Sarah's turn to chip in with an incredulous "You sleep 188 hours each day?" Greater attention must be paid to previous complaints, and these must be duly acted upon.

Day 8: Friday 2nd February 2018 (Headstone Manor)
Millionaire's shortbread proved predictably controversial regarding the placement of its apostrophe. In an email Neil suggested that the correct positioning was after the final 's', as confirmed by the BBC Good Food website, but other sources omit the 's' completely. Mary Berry is silent on the matter, and Jamie Oliver avoids grammatical conflict by calling them caramel squares.

Day 9: Saturday 3rd February 2018 (Hat quiz/Bus cuts)
There were no issues with the hat quiz. If only this had been the sole post of the day, the Quality Threshold would not have been breached. Alas the additional list of bus cuts included a cut and paste error, noted by sharp-eyed reader Greg. Route 230 had of course not received a frequency cut two months running, and the second occurrence should have been a 228.

Day 10: Sunday 4th February 2018 (Dull London)
Andrew (not that Andrew, another Andrew) recognised that lorries generally drive across the centre of mini-roundabouts, and this manoeuvre was therefore unworthy of inclusion in the post. "Isn't part of the point of mini-roundabouts that you give way following the same rules as a full-size one but don't religiously have to go round it?" Technically section 188 of the Highway Code states that "All vehicles MUST pass round the central markings except large vehicles which are physically incapable of doing so", so the point is moot, but this nuance should have been more clearly signalled.

Day 11: Monday 5th February 2018 (Crowded tube carriages)
It was remiss of the author to make sweeping statements about the passenger density within Hammersmith & City line carriages arriving at Bow Road station during the morning rush hour. Regular user Moogal knows from experience that "there's fewer of them, so in the peaks they're often fuller than the District services." In future empirical evidence must be used to back up sweeping assertions.

Day 12: Tuesday 6th February 2018 (Monday morning in E3)
An anonymous commenter immediately spotted a problem with the last bit (in italics) - "Alternatively money can be can donated here..." The extra "can" was deleted before the majority of readers ever saw it.
An occasional reader observed that "There's a redundant 'could have could have' in the middle of paragraph 8." Officially only one of the 'could have's was redundant, but this embarrassing error was swiftly edited.
Andrew (yes, that Andrew again, not the other Andrew) spotted a careless error in the description of park flora. "Were the crocuses open (unfurled) or closed (furled)?" Andrew knew very well that they were closed, and that only someone with a poor grasp of the English language would have written "unfurled", but he still couched his pedantry as a question so as not to appear too big-headed.
Martin apologised for pointing out a infuriating grammatical construction. "Two ladies are sitting, please. Sat is a simple past. You are writing, for vivid effect, in the historic present. They sit. They are sitting. Never they are sat. And for past tenses: They were sitting or they sat. Never 'they were sat'. And certainly not sat sitting or stood standing." This was a particularly egregious blunder, given that other readers have noted similar mistakes in the past. In October 2017 Richard said "Has anyone else noticed that DG has an aversion to the word sitting, eg 'the lady sat beside me was fully settled'." Even as far back as April 2008 Felix said "Can one be sat on a train? I know it is common parlance, but whatever happened to the present participle 'sitting'? It's a bit like saying 'I am ate/eaten my dinner in Coventry'." No matter how poor the grammatical pedagogy of the author's 1970s education, readers must be taken seriously when they repeatedly proffer constructive linguistic advice. This must be the final appearance of the sat/sitting debacle, else further censorial steps will be taken.


Twelve consecutive days of invalid posts is an act of wanton editorial negligence, and the Ombudsman apologises to readers for any offence taken. Refunds will be available through the usual channels.

Rest assured that a probationary period has now been entered into, and the blog's author has been duly chastised for his inadequacies. Please be alert to any further shortcomings, however small.

In particular, IF THERE IS ANY FURTHER ERRORS REPORTED IN TODAYS' COMMENTS, THEN THIS BLOG WILL IMEDIATELY BE PLACED INTO ENFORCED HIATUS.

It is only through the relentless nitpicking of the collective readership that appropriately high standards of 100% perfection can be maintained.


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