Maybe I’m being pernickety, but when I’m reading an article on the BBC news site, I do expect there should be some editorial overview to correct mistakes – I’m not talking here about the content of a piece but the basic grammar and spelling, and also using the correct word in the correct place – avoiding of malapropisms, ie using a proper word in a completely wrong way. I’m not talking about idiomatic, dialect or even colloquial words, I’m talking about mistakes.
Famous means that someone is well-known for doing something, maybe associated with a specific thing – the state of being known or recognised by many people because of your achievements, skills, etc – from http://www.dictionary.cambridge.org
Notorious is similar but means that the associations is in a negative or bad way – “the state of being famous for something bad” – from http://www.dictionary.cambridge.org
This comes from a story about a retired footballer, Jody Craddock, who has gained a reputation as an artist; he has been commissioned by his former club, Wolves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) to paint covers for their match programmes. I have looked at his biography and found he played for Cambridge United for four years, Sunderland for seven years, before moving to Wolves where he played for ten years until his retirement. He played centre back and in his career scored twenty-two goals in five hundred and twenty-seven appearances. In 2013, at the age of thirty-eight he retired.
So he was famous for playing in top clubs, was he also infamous or notorious for the way he played or behaved? No… absolutely not. The painting he is doing now, are they terrible pieces of art? Are they bad, shocking, outrageous? No, they are praised, liked, sought after. So why does the BBC writer, Ged Scott say:
Former defender Craddock, now 42, was already gaining notoriety for his artwork long before his retirement from football in May 2013.
Mr Scott wrote it carelessly (I guess he does know it’s incorrect) but no-one edited it well enough to correct this silly error. This isn’t slang or dialect, it’s just wrong! Tut-tut BBC!!
PS I don’t have an editorial team – I have checked what I’ve written, but if you spot any mistakes, please tell me! I’d rather be famous than notorious!