I do not often contribute to the Comments threads on blogs. Whether this is a character flaw or a virtue I am not sure. Probably it is sheer idleness. However, up bright and early this morning I turned to Peter Hitchens’ latest postage over at the Mail Online, and came upon this sentence:
Seeing several of [Mary Renault’s] books at bargain prices, I stuffed them in my backpack and began reading (as it happened) ‘The King Must Die’ as I waited for a delayed train on a country platform.
I could not let this pass without comment. So I commented:
Mr Hitchens : I really must take issue with your use of the word “backpack”. It ill becomes you. “Backpack” is a barbaric neologism used by young persons, often those on so-called “gap years”. In future, please ensure you use one of the three – yes, three! – acceptable alternatives, “rucksack”, “haversack”, or – my personal preference – “knapsack”.
These words of wisdom are awaiting moderation, but I hope to see them appear soon. Peter Hitchens is one of the few mainstream press bloggers who engages fully, indeed robustly, with his readers, so I also hope to see his grovelling mea culpa before too long.