Mea culpa: tell me why the caged dog is free

Questions of style and use of English (and some French) in last week’s Independent, reviewed by John Rentoul

Sunday 14 January 2024 08:33 GMT
A report involving an XL bully dog featured a ‘lovely malapropism’
A report involving an XL bully dog featured a ‘lovely malapropism’ (PA)

In a report from the stranger side of life, we invited readers to “meet the man driving across the country to ‘rescue’ XL bully dogs”. It takes all sorts. We reported: “He’s discovered three abandoned in the area around his home in Tipton while helping rescue another found in an emancipated state in a cage outside a car wash.”

What a lovely malapropism. We changed it to “emaciated”, meaning abnormally thin, especially because of illness or a lack of food. The dog was about to be “emancipated”, or set free, but it could hardly be free while it was in the cage.

Top and bottom of the year: On our business pages we said that shopping at Aldi would “save you a substantial amount of money, according to the monthly survey of prices put out by Which?” The consumer group tests a basket of 43 products in different supermarkets. “Aldi was the cheapest in 11 of the last 12 months of 2023, with its rival Lidl coming top in the other.”

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