Friday, 16 December 2011

Spellchecker out of order?

Wednesday 14 December 2011 - Mailbox, page 15

When publishing a letter about the musical Grease, the Mercury's caption to the accompanying photograph described it as a msuical.

Clearly, the reliance on spellcheckers does not extend to captions.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Use a spellchecker? - Get a Brain!

21 November - page 19. In an article, by David Sharman,  about a girl being left penniless by a bus driver, the Mercury reported: " Her father, Brain Sansom, said..." .

Now, he might be called Brain or, more likely, Brian - you decide!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Badges ?

On 18 November 2011, p.19 under the headline "Long-serving police officers recognised" the Mercury reported that the officers received special badges from the Lord Lieutenant. Surely they did not receive a mere badge but the Police Exemplary Service Medal, awarded to full time police officers for 20 years service.
In the photograph accompanying the article there is no sign of a "badge" only the above medal so presumably that is what they were awarded.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Front or back - it's yellow!

On Wednesday 24 August, p.50, the Mercury's football reporting included "Inside Football" by Steve Pumfrey in which refereeing was discussed. In particular, the first booking of City goalkeeper Kaspar Schmeichel on Saturday.

"...Schmeichel protested at the end of the match that he was unaware of the first yellow card he received for time wasting. Television evidence suggests Schmeichel had his back to goal when he was carded for the first time..." 

Perhaps this should read "back to the referee"! If he had his back to the goal he would have seen the card!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Which Schmeichel?

Saturday, June 25 - back page. - City News by Rob Tanner.

Latest transfer news included the following interesting gem:

 "Meanwhile, City should find out whether they will complete the signing of goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel next week."

Lets hope it's not the retired Peter but his son, Kaspar. (or perhaps Schmeichel the dog from Coronation Street!)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Tall, Taller but not the Tallest

In a full page article (Wednesday 22 June, p10), Lee Marlow reports on the proposal to build a Wind Turbine on the Severn Trent site at Wanlip.

Apparently it will be 436 feet tall which is taller than St.George's Tower in the city c.400 feet. He goes on to compare it with other structures well known to Mercury readers...  seven times higher than the Angel of the North, nearly as big as Blackpool Tower (518 feet) and only 150 feet shy of London's BT Tower (580 feet).

He states "It will be the tallest structure in Leicestershire"

Clearly Mr Marlow either (a) doesn't get out much, (b) knows very little about the county or (c) is wondering at night what the red lights above the north eastern horizon are.

Obviously, the tallest man-made object in Leicestershire is not St George's Tower or the Cardinal Telephone Exchange on Humberstone Gate ( 2 metres taller), nor will it be this proposed wind turbine. Since it was built in 1968 the TV mast at Waltham-on-the-Wolds has been far and away the tallest at 1033 feet , 2.37 times taller than the turbine!

It can be found at:    52° 48′ 5.92″ N, 0° 48′ 2.62″ W

And now for something completely different.

As if making day to day errors on grammar and the location of places in the newspaper's catchment area wasn't enough to keep the scribes at the Mercury busy, their colleagues printing the paper decided to give us some variety on Saturday 18 June with the following articles:

Page 3: The main article was on Prince Edward's visit to Kirton in Lindsey's renovated Town Hall. However, you might be interested Brigg Farmers' Market on 25 June.

Page 34: Forget news of Sven, "Scunthorpe United Welcome Back To League One" a whole page considering the future of "The Iron"

Clearly the pages from "The Telegraph" had managed to get mixed into the Mercury's print run but is no one looking at something as basic as that?

Apply for a refund c/o the Editor! 

Baited or Bated?

In the 11th May Mailbox, Rosemary Danson of Wigston wrote about seeing Russell Watson at De Montfort Hall. She concluded with "Come back soon Russell we'll be waiting with baited breath!"

The Mercury headline for the letter repeated the "baited breath".

This was noted by Christopher Deavin of Shackerstone in a letter to Mailbox on 17 May when he wrote: Breath is not "baited" - it is "bated". I can excuse the letter writer but not your headline.

Good spot Christopher but don't hold your breath for any improvements...

Get a map!

You can tell when the people writing articles have no idea of the location of places when articles containing errors such as the following gems appear:

28 April 2011, p2 : 
Robert Hall Street, Stocking Farm  -  it's off Abbey Lane next to the old Hoskins Brewery

20 June 2011, p20:
Dominion Road, Beaumont Leys  -  moved from Glenfield 

Back Again

A short blogging break but the "Mercury" hasn't slowed up in its efforts to keep the more observant amongst us amused... 

Friday, 22 April 2011

Why bother with 3-D at the cinema when you can Time Travel?

Thursday's edition of the Mercury's "The Week" guide included a "Mercury Monday" 2 for 1 cinema ticket offer. They list the films showing at the Phoenix on Easter Monday but the coupon reads Monday, Sept 13.
Perhaps Easter is five months long this year. 

 It could be that as September 13 is a Tuesday this year, the coupon will transport the user back to 13 September 2010 - which was a Monday! 


Unless the Mercury have got it wrong...

Thursday, 14 April 2011

A new day - Mercury exclusive!

In a report on the forthcoming marriage of footballer Peter Crouch, the Mercury has revealed that there is to be an extra day in 2011 - the 31st June. Will this be another Bank Holiday?

Sunday, 10 April 2011


Thanks to Steve Branston, who wins this week's "Eagle Eye Award", for spotting the following gem in Saturday's Classified Ads.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Containers - again!

The ongoing saga of railway bridge works and large containers continues. Following the article regarding Oakham level crossing, (see Ghost Trains in Oakham entry on 26 March), the Mercury reported on the successful installation of a new bridge in Melton Mowbray at the weekend.  The page 13 article on 5 April described how Fairy Liquid was used to slide the new bridge into place.

However, it then stated "The new larger freight containers came into service yesterday." Perhaps this should have read "trains carrying larger containers started using the route yesterday".The 9'6" high containers have been in use in the shipping industry for some time, it is the movement of them by rail in the U.K. due to gauge constraints that has been the problem.

On the same subject, The Railway Gazette reported on 5 April that a the completion of works on the route from Southampton to Nuneaton was marked by a ceremony in Southampton on 4 April.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Another own goal

Monday 3 April - Sport

Let's hope the on loan Yakubu has a good map as if he returns to his club he might go the wrong way. That's right, the Mercury strikes again with "Yakubu has admitted he would like to make his loan move from Fulham permanent...". Does David Moyes at Everton know about this? 

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Wrong again!

City News - 31 March

Another contribution from Steve Pumfrey states that Jeff Schlupp the Leicester City player currently on loan at Brentford scored twice on his debut against Carlisle. It is true that Schlupp scored twice in that match but it was his first start for Brentford not his debut. He had previously appeared for Brentford as a substitute against Huddersfield Town on 15 March (77th minute) and Leyton Orient on 19 March ( 73rd minute).

Doctor Who at Tigers?

Tigers News - 31 March

Apparently Anthony Allen won his only two caps for England in 2005 and went on to make his England debut in November 2006 !

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Ghost trains in Oakham !

Many readers will, no doubt, be aware of the bridge works currently being undertaken by NetworkRail on the East-West railway route through the county. Indeed, the article on 29 December about the B582 was commented on in this blog ( see: "How near is nearby". 3/1/2011).

However, with its usual abandon the Mercury's report on the problems at Oakham level crossing, on 23 March, contained a quote from businessman and Rutland county councillor Peter Jones about the volume of rail traffic. "It has got worse in the past year with them sending more freight from Felixstowe to Nuneaton..." 

Two days later an article about traffic disruption due to a bridge being demolished in Saffron Road, Wigston stated that the a new bridge will be built in its place "which will allow larger freight trains to use the line"

Clearly, work is still taking place to enable trains carrying 9'6" containers to travel from the port at Felixstowe so just what are the trains are that councillor Jones has been seeing through his NIMBY coloured glasses? 


Do the staff at the newspaper ever do any research?

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

New ordinal created

Monday 21st  March - Sports section, page 3 - Key Moment

" David Nugent's 13rd-minute strike was to prove costly for City."

13rd ! - Answers about the possible pronunciation of this classic to the editor. 

Electronic spell checker strikes again

11 March 2011 - page 2

"... drove passed them ..."


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Police sought by Police!

15 March 2011, page 5

In an article headed "Car tyres slashed", the 'paper was back on form when the opening sentence read:

 "POLICE who slashed the cars of eight cars and daubed two buildings with graffiti are being sought by police"

Two mistakes for the price of one -  a bonus edition!

Four days later, on Saturday, 19 March, a correction was published "Vandals who slashed the tyres of eight cars..." 

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The Williams Brothers - it's not tennis!

8 March 2011, page 18

In an article about the forthcoming Leicester Beer Festival, reporter Peter Reeve spoke at length with organiser Keith Williams. The article included a photograph with the caption: "Organiser Keith Williams making some last-minute preparations for this year's Leicester Beer festival"

Excellent coverage for the event, it's just a shame the photographer and reporter hadn't made a note of who they were photographing. The man pictured is Nick Williams, brother of Keith. The clue is in the gloves!

For information, Leicester Beer Festival runs from 5pm to 11pm on Wednesday 9 March, 11am to 11pm on Thursday and Friday and 11am to 10pm on Saturday. See .

The strange tale of Dr Bamba and Mr Bruma

28 February 2011, page 28.

Steve Pumfrey reported the views of Sol Bamba about goalkeeper Ricardo. However, halfway through the article Bamba changed to Bruma before changing back again. No wonder he's already a legend!

Monday, 28 February 2011

The bridge that's still too old!

At least the Mercury is consistent. The bowstring bridge has once again been reported as being 180 years old when it was demolished in 2009, despite the railway not opening until 1899.

What's in a mane?

Stanford or Stamford, n or m, it's only one letter but it's over 40 miles according to the AA.
However, it's near enough for the Mercury's caption writer.

February 23, page 21.

Economy drive?

February 21, page 5.   Are the Mercury trying to save money by using less ink?  You decide...

Saturday, 19 February 2011

A Bridge Too Old

Saturday 19 February 2011.

Today's edition proved that the Mercury reporters have a knowledge of time and space that would do Einstein credit.

It appears that the Bowstring Bridge, demolished to make way for another De Montfort University building, was 180 years old in 2009. By my calculations that means it was built in 1829.

However, the Great Central Railway in Leicester did not open until 15 March 1899 so -

(a) Did an early 19th Century engineer build the bridge and have it hidden away for 70 years just in case it would come in useful?


(b) Has the Mercury with its extensive knowledge of local history produced another top quality howler?

Answers on a postcard to the editor.

Many thanks to local railway historian Steve Branston for pointing out this blunder.  

Aerial or Comical?

This Wednesday's roundup of Junior Football included the following photograph of a game between Harborough Rockets and Birstall United Foxes.

The paper were not sure if it was an aerial or a comical challenge so opted for a completely new word!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Chicken breast and heads - a true Valentine's Day treat

In the 14th February edition Tom Mack reported on a Michelin starred, Leicester restaurant's Valentine's Day menu.

"The recipe begins with a starter of roasted butternut squash soup with chilli and creme fraiche, followed by chicken breast, spring greens, coconut and coriander with noddles. For dessert it is orange and hazelnut shortbread biscuits served with chocolate dip and strawberries."

Presumably recipe should read menu and the noddles should be noodles!

Noddle: An informal British expression for the head or mind.

Perhaps the reporter should have used his noddle instead of a spell-checker.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Conman or Conwoman?

In the 1st February edition, an article on page 17 by "Staff Reporter" about an online conman appears to have confused his gender. The report states " He claimed he was a 43 year old widow..."

Now unless the mystery conman had had a sex change then surely that should read widower.  (i.e. a man whose wife has died and who has not remarried.)

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Guessing the goals?

In "CityNews" 27 January, Steve Pumfrey writes about Dany N'Guessan going out on loan to Southampton.
He goes on to state "He has made 19 league appearances and scored three goals, including the winner in City's first match back in the Championship after League One promotion when they defeated Swansea 2-1 in August 2009. He also scored the winner to sink the Swans in the FA Cup five months later with his other strike coming to rescue a point at Watford in a 3-3- draw, also back in August 2009."

This "other strike" infers that N'Guessan scored three goals in the games mentioned and no others.

However, his record during the 2009/2010 was slightly better as he scored in the following games:

8 August 2009         - League         - Swansea (H)
12 August 2009       - League Cup - Macclesfield (A)
19 September 2009 - League         - Watford (A)
2 January 2010        - FA Cup       - Swansea (H)
6 February 2010      - League        - Blackpool (A)

Our cat can see that he scored five goals so why does the Mercury continue to churn out sloppy articles with little or no research?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Sol Bamba and case of the mysterious missing game.

Leicester City's new defender Sol Bamba has now scored three goals in his four appearances since joining from Hibs.

Manchester City (H) - scored
Preston (A)
Manchester City (A)
Millwall (H) - scored twice

However, in City News ( 25th January) Rob Tanner reports " The Ivory Coast international followed his debut goal against Manchester City with a double strike against Millwall on Saturday to make it  three goals in as many appearances..."

Where did the other game go?

Sunday, 23 January 2011

West is East... or the clue is in the name.

This little gem was featured in Rob Tanner's City News on Saturday 22 January (p.50).

" City winger Danny N'Guessan has been linked with a moved to East Midlands rivals Coventry City..."

The last time I looked at a map, Coventry was in the West Midlands metropolitan county and formerly in Warwickshire but to my knowledge has never been in the East Midlands.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Just when you thought the Mercury couldn't get better... a flea!

Page 7  Tuesday 18 January 2011 by Suzy Gibson.


What can you say?  These howlers are the best thing about the 'paper ... Long live electronic spell checkers!

Pitch relay

On the back page of the 14th January 2011 edition, Rob Tanner wrote: "Leicester City have relayed the pitch at the Walkers Stadium..."

This error was spotted by Graham Lloyd of Kibworth and appeared in the Mercury Mailbox of 19th January (below)


Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Lend us a fan!

On January 6th, Rob Tanner's "City News" on page 47 featured Manchester born Richie Wellens' thoughts on the forthcoming F.A.Cup 3rd Round tie against Manchester City.

" "I am a Red, and my dad is a Red," said Wellens, who was born in the Moston area of Manchester. "But he must have eight brothers and loads of sisters, a big family, and they are all City fans. I think in his local pub they are all City fans, and he is the loan United fan. It would be lovely to put one over on City.""

Perhaps Coventry City should utilise this fan loan scheme as they only managed to pull in 8,162 for their home 3rd Round match!

Monday, 3 January 2011

How near is nearby?

In the 29th December edition there was an article about the B582 road being due to be closed on several occasions during January. The article ended:

"The road is being closed to enable network rail to replace a nearby road bridge." 

As this is the only road bridge over the railway between the M1 and the A426 in Blaby it would be safe to assume that the nearby road is actually the B582!  see map