2 MAY 1987, Page 20

Correct style

Sir: John Grigg does well to point (Diary, 25 April) to the solecisms in, of all places, a programme about the punctilious Evelyn Waugh and by, of all media of communica- tion, the BBC: 'Lady Diana Mosley'; `Lady Frances Donaldson'.

One could follow his example daily, could have been forestalling him for de- cades past. I care as little about titles as I know John Grigg does but, as that good Socialist, Raymond Postgate, used to say, `Things must be done properly.'

So long as titles exist, they must be used correctly, or confusion arises as to who is who, or related (or how related) to whom. On the first page of the most recent Sunday Times we have 'Lady Cecily Gibson' as caption to a photograph of the late Sir Maurice Gibson's late wife and, in the text on page 2, 'Viscountess Katherine Macmil- lan' who turns out not to be daughter of a duke, marquess or earl but the widow of a viscount.

Never mind titles. On the front page, the headline 'Thatcher Marshalls [sic] Her Troops'. Not only does the paper get titles wrong, it cannot manage even simple two-syllable English verbs.

One might ask oneself whether there are, these days, such creatures as sub- editors and, if there are, what they do?

Cyril Ray

Kl Albany, Piccadilly, London WI