They don’t half butcher your prose at The Economist

February 24, 2009

     By Duncan Green     

In a strictly personal capacity, I recently sent in a whimsical letter to The Economist in response toĀ its piece on the changing names of London coined by journalists – ‘Reykjavik-on-Thames‘.

What I sent:

‘Sir
Given the combination of accelerating disappearance of the polar ice caps, and slow motion (glacial?) climate change negotiations, we could be looking at sea level rises of overĀ a metre by the end of the century. The next name for London, in common with most ports and low lying areas around the world, is most likely to be ‘the sea’.
Duncan Green, London-Under-ThamesĀ ‘

What they subsequently printed in this week’s edition:

Flood warning
SIR ā€“ Bagehot listed the various nicknames given to London over the years, including Manhattan-on-Thames, Londonistan and Londongrad (January 31st). Given climate change and rising sea levels, in the future London will probably be better known as London-under-Thames.

Duncan Green
London’

Delighted they ran it, obviously, but am I being overly precious in thinking that, while they did indeed have to summarize the contentĀ ofĀ the initial piece (my bad),Ā Ā their version is far clunkier than the one I sent them. It also loses the reference to the climate changeĀ talks and so presents sea level rises as a fait accomplit, not at all my intention.Ā Shouldn’t they have at least run it past me before printing?

February 24, 2009
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Duncan Green
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