The Mail joins the Brigade

It's been a good week, this week, for the Mail forgetting itself and calling for the things it hates in its ridiculously ill thought out panics.

Earlier in the week, the papers were up in arms about the scandal of cage fighting children. Except the children involved were doing something far less scary than 'cage fighting'.  'Where was their headgear?' asked the knee-jerkers, without being aware that the kids were taking part in a bout where punching and kicking were disallowed, punishable by disqualification.*

This wasn't good enough for top Mail blowhard, James Slack, who points out in his soberly headlined 'We have laws to protect dogs, but not our children':
The organisers would counter that, unlike adult cage-fighting contestants, the children are not allowed to punch, kick, knee or elbow each other during the competitions.  
But the rules are almost inevitably broken, and it’s unsurprising to hear the British Medical Association warning of the dangers of brain injury – or worse.
So one Mail commentator outs himself as a member of the Elf n Safety Brigade, calling for the mandatory wearing of headgear for children just in case they break rules and hit one another.

I look forward to Mail outrage at the sight of kids not wearing headgear to play football, kiss chase and conkers.

Today's Mail on Sunday headline shouts "BBC TURNS ITS BACK ON YEAR OF OUR LORD", above a story that closes with:
The BBC said last night: 'The BBC has not issued editorial guidance on the date systems.  
'Both AD and BC, and CE and BCE are widely accepted date systems and the decision on which term to use lies with individual production and editorial teams.'
So, the Mail is actually arguing against BBC editors being allowed to describe things as they want, and presumably want them to be made to use one permitted term.

Welcome to the PC and Elf n safety Gone Mad Brigades, the Mail. You'll get your ID cards in the post.

*I've had a frustrating exchange in the comments to Steve Baxter's post on the issue, with someone arguing entirely from their imagination. Fun fun fun.


Anonymous said...

Anyone who's read books of recent American origin may have noticed these terms (CE and BCE) have been creeping in for a while now.
I agree: the BBC (along with other media organisations - or is it now organizations) do have an annoying habit of picking up on Americanisms.
E.g. "any time soon" (what was wrong with "in the near future"?) and addressing mixed or all female groups as "you guys" (whatever happend to female emancipation, why do we never address a group of men as "you girls"?)
I doubt the Mail is immune from this.

vjohn82 said...

Why is it annoying picking up on Americanisms? Did the English language spring up all on it's own? Deary me.

Anyway, BCE/CE is more than appropriate.

Mrs Grimble said...

"Common Era" is not an Americanism. It was used - in Latin, as "Vulgaris Aerae" - in academic texts in Europe from the 18thC onwards; in its English form its been used in academia for decades. It is simply a neutral way of expressing dates, without the cultural and religious baggage of "Anno Domini" and "Before Christ".
Rather as astronomers now use UT (Universal Time) in place of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), in fact. Or do you also object to this dreadful rejection of Great Britain's proud scientific past?

LiamKav said...

I would also say that adressing a mixed-gender group as "you guys" is just the English languages way of struggling with a lack of non-gender specific terms, rather than trying to keep the woman down.

(I have also heard it used by girls to refer to just girls, so you could make an argument that, in this context, it has become non-gender specific.)