Saturday, 4 June 2011

English as it should be writ (Part 2)

The headline President Nathan forfeits public service awards to Ming Yi, Durai (27th May, 2011) refers.

27/5/2011 I sent this email to ''


Dear Editor

It was a "facepalm" moment when I read this headline.

It is appalling English.

How could President Nathan "forfeit" a public service award that was not his?

A person can only forfeit something he owns or is due to him but which now needs to be given up as a punishment or penalty.

You could say "President to strip Ming Yi and Durai of public service awards" (except that "President to strip" is not a very good headline).

Or "President to remove/recall Ming Yi and Durai's public service awards".

Or "Ming Yi and Durai to forfeit public service awards".

Or "Ming Yi and Durai to be stripped of public service awards".

Or "Ming Yi and Durai to lose public service awards".

Or several other ways to convey that story.

But the President can only "forfeit" what is his to lose: freedom, free time, salary, title, anonymity, etc.

Notchet got reply from Channelnewsasia, but I noticed that the next time someone wrote about this in Todayonline the headline was: Durai, Ming Yi stripped of public service awards.

Are Channelnewsasia and Todayonline part of the same company?

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