Journalism at its finest

This local paper might have a disgruntled journalist in its newsroom. Can you spot what he did?

Great! Thanks for the early morning snort. Wonder how long before the article is pulled or edited.

I don’t think that “brainless twat” means what you think it means.


In an article full of insults ‘brainless twat’ doesn’t seem all that out of place. :smiley:

I’m curious about the charges. If he was on private land then how can he be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol? I thought such things only applied to the queen’s highway?

Wouldn’t it have to be your own private land if you wanted to do a bit of the old drink-driving?

I can only see the “brainless twat” thing (although that in itself would get it pulled from most UK newspapers). Is there something else?

I just think the newspaper’s style aims at very informal language, as do many other mass-market UK newspapers. This article uses similar colloquial language, like “sicko” and “weirdo”.

I don’t know how “brainless twat” translates in working class Britain, but that’s the only truly out-of-place phrase I found. The old grey papers are more conservative, but the tabs play fast and loose with the whole “innocent until proven guilty” concept. I don’t know if the Paisley Express is one of those, but it seems that way.

Well no. To be covered by criminal law you’d have to be on public roads. Should I go down to Tesco’s carpark and drive into your car* you’d have no way of instigating criminal charges relating to careless driving. All you could do is sue me in the civil courts for the damage caused. The same is true for the charges regarding driving without insurance or a licence - you don’t need to be licenced to drive on private land. I’m not sure whether you need to be insured but I doubt it (although the landowner might have a requirement that all drivers be insured but again, that would be a civil matter).

If he was in the bus garage for the whole time he was at the wheel then I’d say that was private land. Even if the bus company was owned by the local council it’s still considered private. From what I can gather he either had to be on the public highway at some point (even if that’s just driving onto a footpath) or some of the charges relate to other activities from that night. The article states that he was pursued by police and caught later on and charged with road traffic offences - I suspect that something else went on which led to the charges against him.

Ellef, the article also referred to him as an idiot (via a quote) and called it a “mad incident”. Both these are also somewhat unexpected from a presumably otherwise professional source.

*Assuming it was accidental. If I deliberately drove into your car I guess that could be covered by Criminal Damage laws which are not restricted to traffic law.

I don’t think “twat” is a term that is commonly used in the English-language newspaper business anywhere in the world, no matter how informal. It’s only a step or two above “cunt.”

Maybe the guy writing it didn’t actually know what “twat” means (vulva). Maybe he meant to type “brainless twit.”

It’s also dated in the American style (m/d/y) instead of d/m/y.

No, we use d/m/y with purely numerical dates, but otherwise the month can come first or second. It would be quite normal in British English to describe today as “July the eighteenth”.

Yes, but would you call a twit a twat?

Stop your twaddle.

I think the inhabitants of Paisley are fully versed in the art of obscene insults. But as others have said, even the most relaxed style manual would not allow the use of descriptions such as “brainless twat”.

Thanks, I didn’t know that carparks and stuff weren’t governed by the same laws as regular roads.

Having been unfortunate enough to visit Paisley, I can only assume that it isn’t a slip, and possibly part of the newspaper’s style.

Neither did I until an unfortunate friend had her car clipped by a colleague. We all worked for the same government department and although the land was owned by the crown it wasn’t the same thing as ‘queen’s highway’ and the offender got away with it. :frowning:

I was thinking they had put it through one of those insultifying web programs.

Unfortunate? But isn’t that where all those lovely prints come from? I imagined a place drenched in colour, with “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” playing incessantly (“love, love, love…”) D’you mean it’s not?