Inhibit/prohibit, flout/flaunt – and another missing apos


Following a recent trial involving indecent behaviour, the accused was given a 10-year sex offenders’ order. This order was said by one paper reporting the case to “inhibit some behaviours”. Well, it’s possible that it will, but surely they meant “prohibit”?

Similarly, a review of the film Sex and the City 2, which was on telly last week, described how the characters “flaunt” local custom with their embarrassingly vulgar behaviour while on a visit to Abu Dhabi. One can imagine them flaunting – they’re extremely good at that – but they certainly weren’t doing it to the local customs; the word the writer was grasping for was “flouting”.

That one was in the Sunday Telegraph, which should know better. I don’t know if the ST is one of the papers currently sacking sub-editors so that pages can be produced for tuppence ha’penny by 12-year-olds thousands of miles away, but if so, that would explain why such an error was overlooked.

Meanwhile, I laughed out loud when I saw the possessive apostrophe had been missed off the promotional leaflet for a new “kids snack box” for young holidaymakers. The Gatwick airport food shop offering this “kids” treat is called…  Apostrophe.

Pic credit: Ambro, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1499

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