An Open Letter to the BBC Newsdesk

In which The Author picks up on another annoying use of language

Dear Sir/Madam
I wish to point out a grave misuse of the English language in your 7 p.m. news bulletin on Radio 4 tonight. I refer to your story about commemorative paving stones dedicated to the recipients of the Victoria Cross, which are to be laid in their home towns during the next year. Your newsreader said that there were 467 ‘winners’ of this medal, the highest award for bravery in combat.
I would respectfully point out that members of the armed services do not ‘win’ the Victoria Cross, or any other medal. They are ‘awarded’ them, ‘receive’ them, or ‘earn’ them. War is not a sporting event, and these courageous actions should not be cheapened by using words best associated with competitive achievement.
Yours faithfully
Steve O’Gorman

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