I started to collect these five years ago, which is why so many of them date from 2014. It’s like discovering a childhood stamp collection.
1. “Last week’s NALGO News reported the general principles involved in the clinical grading appeals for horses, midwives and health visitors. This, of course, should have read ‘nurses’. Our apologies for any offence or embarrassment this typographical error may have caused.” (Undated, but the National and Local Government Officers’ Association merged with Unison in 1993.) Thanks to Els Freshwater.
2. “Last week, we described the new convenor of the teacher education sector of the London Students’ Organisation, Val Furness, as ‘a Communist Party candidate’. She feels this description is ambiguous and needs to be clarified. She is a member of the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist). She is not a member of the Communist Party of England (Marxist-Leninist), or the Communist Federation of Britain (Marxist-Leninist). She would like to say that she is not in the Broad Left either.” The Sennet, University of London paper (later renamed London Student) in about 1977. From David Boothroyd.
3. “In our Cryptic Crossword No 22,707 by Fidelio, page 32, 19 December, we gave the clue to 8 across as ‘As in pavilion’, presenting the solution as ‘misspelt’. ‘Pavilion’, in fact, is spelt perfectly correctly.” The Guardian, 2002, apologising for spelling a word correctly. Nominated by The Eponymous Bob.
4. “On 9 May we published a picture of a candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, and identified him as Lord Toby Jug, leader of the Eccentric Party of Great Britain. In fact, it was Howling Laud Hope, leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party. Apologies for the confusion, which must have been hugely embarrassing for both men.” The Sun, 13 May 2005. From Stig Abell.
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5. “A health article on 27 January said some experts believe electronic cigarettes can be more harmful than real ones. In fact we are not aware of any experts who hold this view. We apologise for any contrary suggestion.” Daily Mail, 2013. Thanks to Dave Birch.
6. “In a leader last month we said that The Economist first proposed legalising drugs in 1993. In fact we argued for it in a cover story in 1988. Who says drug use doesn’t damage long-term memory?” February 2014. Submitted by Emily Babay.
7. “In an article in the Cumbernauld News and Kilsyth Chronicle of 2 July 2014, we stated that Caitlin Henderson and her friend Calum Robinson were ‘the envy of their classmates’ when they arrived for their school prom at Condorrat Primary School. However, Mrs Alison Masterson contacted us to say that her daughter was not ‘envious’. We are happy to set the record straight and apologise for any embarrassment it may have caused.” Thanks to Jeremy Vine and John Martin Grant.
8. “This article (‘Alex Salmond urged to stay statesmanlike for independence debate’) was amended on 4 August 2014 to change the headline, removing the word ‘sober’.” The Guardian. From Hugo Rifkind.
9. “A double-page graphic billed as an essential guide to the Tory party’s warring cliques wrongly identified Liam Fox and Owen Patterson [later corrected to Paterson] as Etonians rather than Eurosceptics.” The Guardian, 3 October 2014.
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10. “In yesterday’s editorial we said that it was possible to glimpse Sir Water [sic] Scott’s Abbotsford House from the east coast rail line. We fully accept that this would require superhuman powers of vision, not just for the distances involved but also the myriad of solid objects occupying those distances. We don’t really know what we were thinking. Sorry.” The Scotsman (June 2013). Thanks to Sophie Hamilton.
Next week: Ideas to control the weather, after Donald Trump suggested nuking a hurricane.
Coming soon: MPs’ first speeches (should we call them maiden speeches any more?), after Lisa Forbes, the new MP for Peterborough got to speak in this month’s brief parliamentary sitting.
Your suggestions please, and ideas for future Top 10s, to me on Twitter, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org