Sorry, I know it’s only been a few days since Davina, but I’m going to rant again. If you’re not in London, Brighton, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, French Connection stores or selected airport lounges, you won’t have come across Stylist, the free women’s magazine which is available in all of those places. It’s been going for a couple of months, and aside from the usual dross about losing weight and looking younger with £60 moisturisers, it seemed relatively inoffensive. Well, depending on how offensive you find the dross about losing weight and looking younger with £60 moisturisers. I suppose I find it more depressing than offensive, but I can’t say I blame the staff of the magazine, who after all can only do what their advertisers tell them.
But I do blame the staff of the magazine for the fact that, every week, there is at least one awful blunder which makes them look like they haven’t a clue what they’re doing. Because I am anal about grammar and style, and because it was the week before Christmas and I hadn’t much else to do, I actually emailed the editor last month and pointed out the three worst offenders in that week’s issue (“lightning” mis-spelled as “lightening”, a caption reading “who want’s to be an eco-warrior?” and an article on Sarah Jessica Parker that began, almost incomprehensibly, “As part of a generation that lived and breathed Sex And The City, few TV shows have had as much impact on us as those four Manhattanites.”)
It was a very polite email, though now I look at it again I notice I did say “you could begin by ditching Dawn Porter and replacing her with someone who can write”. Even so, I didn’t really expect a reply, and I didn’t get one. But I suppose I thought that somebody somewhere might have at least read it and thought “OK, let’s keep an eye out for obvious howlers”.
But clearly, no. Here is an extract from the editorial column in today’s issue.
To add to our misery (thanks a lot), scientists have used a formula to calculate the most depressing day of the year, taking into account weather, finances and motivation levels. They found it always falls on the third Monday in January – which is next week.
As this day of joy approaches, we’ve decided to rebrand Blue Monday. January 25 is now the day to book your dream holiday and swap your January blues for the azure shades of idyllic beaches.
Ahem. Did you spot the problem? Not the one about “Blue Monday” being a load of balls which lazy journalists like to rehash every year because it saves them from having to have an idea, but the one about how many Mondays there have been in January so far? Or indeed, the one about how many days have to have passed before it can be the 25th of a month?
Stylist magazine, you’re embarrassing me now. Please try harder.