Mea Culpa: a tireless effort to dry every eye in the house

Mea Culpa: a tireless effort to dry every eye in the house
A review of style and use of English in last week’s Independent, by John Rentoul

In our moving account of an interview with Keir Starmer, which has not yet been broadcast by ITV, we said that “photographs from the taping” show him “with tears in his eyes, as his wife Victoria wiped away tears from the audience”. Several readers commented on the rather startling scene conjured up of the Labour leader’s wife ministering to the TV studio audience, moving along the rows, dabbing at their eyes.

Fortunately, everyone knows what we meant, which was that “his wife Victoria, in the audience, wiped away her own tears”.

I also thought it odd to use the word “taping” rather than “recording”. Terms from previous generations of technology often survive, and we still talk about “rewinding” a video, or “hanging up” on a phone call, but there didn’t seem to be a good reason for this one.

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