Saturday, February 26, 2005

# Posted 5:39 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

UNTRAMMELLED PRAISE FOR THE GUARDIAN: There are very few typographical errors in the Guardian. I mean it. And this isn't just a backhanded compliment. According to Gary Farber, everyone's favorite tabloid was once renowned for it typos, so much so that the smart began to refer to it as the "Grauniad".

According to Gary, awareness of this strange moniker is limited even among Britons. Thus, OxBlog doesn't have to be all that embarrassed at its ignorance of this bit of British culture.

On a related note, Gary takes issue with my decision to refer to the Guardian as a tabloid, even though, literally speaking, it is a broadsheet. Now, as some of you may know, Mr. Chafetz is often infuriated by the improper use of the word 'literally', as in "Maureen Dowd is literally a moron." Of course she isn't.

However, I think Josh might accept or even celebrate my metaphorical use of the word 'tabloid' as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the Guardian's literal status as a broadsheet.

Finally, Gary asks whether I think the Guardian is actually more biased or less reliable than the Telegraph or the Times of London, and therefore deserving of special denigration. The answer to that question is 'no'.

However, well-educated Britons have a disturbing tendency to treat the Guardian as if it were a true paper of record and bearer of insight. In Oxford, one become known as open-minded and well-informed even if one only reads the Guardian (and perhaps the LRB on occasion).

By metaphorically referring to the paper as a tabloid, I hope to remind some of its readers that the Guardian provides intellectuals with the same sort of cheap thrills and pretext for self-righteousness that real tabloids provide for those who prefer to read about Posh & Becks rather than W. & Condi.
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