The Rattle Daily: BBC abandons principle

The Rattle Daily: BBC abandons principle


norman lebrecht

February 13, 2015

Screen grab:

rattle screen grab

Some of us remember a time when spelling got humanly checked at the BBC.


  • Daphne Badger says:

    I bet it was checked by a human. I wouldn’t bet on most people at the BBC to be able to spell…

  • Halldor says:

    BBC also reported that Rattle had criticised “Britain’s” concert halls when in fact he explicitly confined his criticism to “London’s” concert halls – but of course, that particular equation is pretty much a reflex action at the BBC.

  • V.Lind says:

    Re principle: the more appalling, but all-too-likely, fact is that it probably WAS humanly spell-checked. If the wide range of newspapers I read regularly is anything to go by, another one (spelling distinction) bites the dust.

  • marguerite foxon says:

    I agree that it was probably checked by a person. It seems more and more this simple spelling distinction is not understood or considered important enough to get correct.

  • John says:

    Perhaps it’s not a mistake. More conductors should have principles…

  • hypocritesgalore says:

    It’s odd that this blog of all places would criticize anyone for spelling errors.

  • Alexander Hall says:

    The declining standards of literacy in the British media (captions consistently misspelt on the BBC, e.g. “chaplin” instead of “chaplain”) which have been observable for some time now are also matched by non-existent language skills amongst some music critics. If I see another review about the current Rattle/BPO residency in London in which “Berliner Philharmoniker” is used to mean “Berlin Philharmonic”, I shall scream.

    • Kirk says:

      If one’s name is John in England it is still John in France, Germany or Hungary, not Jean, Johann or Jonas!

      • Alexander Hall says:

        You misunderstand the point. The German term “Philharmoniker” actually means “a member of a philharmonic orchestra” and NOT “Philharmonic”. Thus the references in the British media to the “Philharmoniker” followed by a singular verb are ungrammatical (hence my reference to the non-existent foreign language skills). Remember, we are talking about a collective of some 120 musicians. And by the way, the correct name of the orchestra is “Das Berliner Philharmonische Orchester” (= Berlin Philharmonic). It was Karajan who dreamed up the special moniker to separate the touring and media activities of his happy band from the entirely state-funded orchestra located in Berlin.

  • hypocritesgalore says:

    It is all in the moniker…is it not?

  • David Boxwell says:

    Has he ever performed Handle’s “Lager”, that famous tune from “Cersei”?

  • John says:

    Perhaps it’s not an error. The world needs more conductors with principles…

  • hypocritesgalore says:

    Then it should have said “principled”…anyway, Sir Simon is overplaying his hand with the concert hall issue. He issuing all of his political capital and isn’t even in the position of LSO principal. He must eventually decide whether he will play pundit or leader. Calling for a new hall is one thing but leading the croft is quite another. He doesn’t want to look like Jansons in ten years.

  • Ks. Christopher Robson says:

    I read BBC News online everyday (living in Germany) and the general standard of construction, as well as spelling, is not great. I wonder if there is any proof reading done at all, especially when it is clear that a whole bunch of words have been missed out of a sentence – as often happens.
    I listen to the BBC World Service a lot, as well. The general standard of news and current affairs presentation in the mornings – from the early hours on – is distressingly incomprehensible. An awful lot of intimate muttering, sentences strung together and speeded up, and a general lack of flair in the spoken word. So depressing 🙁
    Luckily, I can now get BBC Radio 4 in the mornings. Thank God for James Naughtie and his colleagues, who all seem to breath life into their utterances. 🙂