Why Ed Miliband is one L of a politician

Let me be clear about this (as politicians like to say). I’m not talking about politics here -  I’m talking about spelling.

I teach journalism as well as writing skills, and I find that about 95% of my students who want to write about politics spell Miliband with a double L.  Even professional journalists – who should know better – have been known to get this wrong.

One way to make sure you spell it right is to think of the mnemonic that he’s one L of a politician.

That’s fine as far as it goes, but it might not work if you aren’t a fan of his.

So I should stress a general principle when it comes to names. And it’s this – check everyone’s name even if you think you know it. You’d be surprised how many people think Phillip Schofield’s first name is Philip, or that Judi Dench has a y at the end of her first name.

So how do you check? After all, if lots of people are spelling names incorrectly, there will be some incorrect spellings on the internet.  I think the first thing to do is to check to see if the person has their own website as you can be sure that their name will be correct there.  Also google “Ed Miliband twitter”  - again the name will be correct on his twitter page.

You can also check the website of whoever they work for – for instance the Labour Party website for Mr Miliband or the This Morning website for Mr Schofield. Also look to see if they have written a book or have had a book written about them. You can be confident that their name on the cover is correct.