Letter from the editor: So much for Harrow!

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The Independent Online

Every day, when I finish this missive, I ask one or two of my senior colleagues to read it through. They say that it’s just an expression of my need for external validation (thanks very much, boys, but I pay a shrink good money to tell me things like that).

More accurately, it’s because they are the products of a much more expensive education than I - a mere grammar school boy - and they can correct any of my solecisms and grammatical improprieties.

Well, so much for Harrow, I say!

Yesterday, one of our senior editors, an old Harrovian no less, read my letter and pronounced it fit for purpose. In it, I had written that “I was prone in the dentist’s chair” and, as a great number of you pointed out, this would have made it rather difficult for the dentist to do his job, given that “prone” means lying face down.

The word I was searching for was “supine”, as Ian Colley, a dentist himself, pointed out. “I was astounded to see you lying prone in a dentist’s chair,” he wrote. “You described him as a clever man and he would certainly have to be to achieve any surgery in your mouth via the back of your head. Patients invariably lie supine in my chair, neither my arms nor my instruments being long enough to stretch far enough the other way!” Perhaps, Mr Colley, you could come and help us with some proof reading when you’ve taken enough teeth out.

Even making such a silly mistake couldn’t spoil our mood today, however. We are still celebrating the victory at the British Press Awards of our very own James Lawton, who was named Sports Journalist of the Year, a truly deserved award. The judges said he has been “producing great journalism for decades and goes from strength to strength”. He was certainly going strong when I last saw him, discussing the benefits of a 4-4-2 system with two of our younger section heads deep into the night. Sorry if I left you with the bar bill, James. You know where to send it. Top man, in every sense!