You might think being a Sunday newspaper columnist is a pretty easy gig.
Think again. They have to conjure provocative opinions on everything, on demand, often with only the weakest grasp of the facts.
To highlight their plight, here we present Barbara Ellen's attempt in yesterday's Observer to wrestle copy from ICANN's decision to approve a .xxx web domain.
Here's the first paragraph:
Ellen goes on to explain at length why putting "xxx" at the end of web addresses rather than "www" is a brilliant idea. ("Ultimately, asking that someone type xxx instead of www has got naff all to do with censorship. If anything, it's helpful.")
She unfortunately overlooks the fact that nobody puts "www" at the end of web addresses.
Guardian commentards were quick to point out the gaffe, prompting the paper's expensively assembled online production operation to offer an altered intro:
The new form of gibberish is explained at the end of the piece, which is still online at time of writing: "This article referred to www. and the notional xxx. as suffixes. It should have been prefix. This has been corrected."
Well, up to a point, Lord Copper. We look forward to the launch of xxx.guardian.co.uk. ®