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arcane again

November 24, 2012

Sorry to be repetitive, but Harriet Walker in today’s Independent refers to Nadine Dorries’s promulgating ‘odious and arcane’ views on abortion. Dorries’s views on abortion may be odious, but they are most certainly not arcane, which means secret, occult, esoteric. On the contrary her views are easy to discover, being a matter of public record. Obviously Harriet Walker meant archaic. There is nothing terrible in itself about such a slip, but the trouble is that arcane seems to be one Walker’s favourite words; she has misused in it in this way three times in the last three weeks. I don’t mean to pick on her. I don’t know her at all, although she looks nice in her photo. But can’t someone put her right? Don’t the subs notice? Or don’t her friends read her articles? Surely they could have a word. Actually today’s piece appeared above Guy Keleny’s Errors and Omissions column, so maybe he’ll say something. 

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