BBC news writing


Are BBC news scriptwriters using a system with predictive spelling? In the last few days, I’ve been hearing nonsensical statements from reputable, and usually reliable Radio 4 newsreaders, and either they are uncharacteristically mis-reading their script, or the script is mis-spelt in a way that I can only attribute to predictive spelling.

First, Alan Smith read out a business piece which included a claim that there were increasing vaccines in several industries (vacancies?), and today, Arlene Fleming has twice (at both one o’clock and six o’clock) talked about events in Suburbiton near Kingston upon Thames.

What is going on? Does nobody check what they’ve written before delivering it to the newsreader?


  1. ‘Are BBC news scriptwriters using a system with predicitve spelling?’
    I dunno. But I would predicit that maybe they’re using predictive spelling? But I’m not so good at this predicitving lark.
    So if it’s Suburbiton, does that mean it’s just south of Norborbiton? I can already hear the squeals of Daily Mail readers about the effect on house prices.

  2. Alec – Thanks! I’ve corrected that. And it just goes to prove that WordPress doesn’t use predicitivate spelling!

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