When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Unusual attire for a recital at Covent Garden
Still on matters musical, a question I have been meaning to raise for some months now concerns a curious practice of The Times relating to opera singers. They are reported to be giving ‘recitals’ of their roles. This occurs most weeks in the Saturday radio listing for Opera on 3. Last week, for example, we were promised: “A performance of Don Giovanni from London’s Royal Opera House. Featuring recitals by Erwin Shrott (bass), Alex Esposito (bass) [and various others too tedious to list].”
This usage is totally unknown to me and to anyone else I have asked. I turned to my dictionaries and for a moment thought that Chambers might be sanctioning it with the definition for recital: “A public performance of music, usu by one performer or composer or of some particular character. Then I realised that the last four words actually mean music of a specific sort.
There was further odd use of language in The Times on Monday. First the editor of the letters page allowed correspondent Frank Greaney of Liverpool to refer to George Carman “successfully . . . defending Ken Dodd of tax evasion charges”.
Then, four pages later, in a despatch from Delhi, Francis Elliott wrote: “When a female gold medal-winning athlete was denounced by her partner of actually being a man who had raped her, it proved an irrestisible story.”
Defending of? Denounced of?
I should of thought that someome in The Times newsroom could of pointed out that these expressions simply won’t do.
Perhaps Oliver Kamm — whose excellent Pedant column deals with such matters — was on leave.