Give me strength...

OK, I'm sure I've ranted about this before, but I'll rant about it again: it's REGISTER OFFICE, not REGISTRY OFFICE!

The latest miscreant to commit this heinous crime is one that should really know better: the Telegraph, supposedly one of our 'quality' newspapers. In this article today they say: "Sir Paul McCartney and his fiancée have posted marriage banns at the same registry office where he wed his first wife Linda more than 40 years ago, it was reported last night." Accordingly, they have been put on the Nearly Legal Family Lore Naughty Step, and will remain there until they stop it.

For the benefit of the unenlightened, a 'registry' is a place where a register is kept. The word includes reference to place, so appending 'office' is superfluous (you would not say "the place where the register is kept office"). On the other hand, a 'register' is just that - no reference to place, thus 'office' is required, if one wants to refer to the office where the register is kept. So, just remember that as the place where birth, marriage and death records are kept uses the word 'office' in its name, it must therefore be a 'register office'.

Thank you.


  1. John, imagine if you worked for us having to check petitions every day and guess what the biggest mistake is in reciting the certificate, yep you guessed it. I am sure that after a couple of days you would have a nervous breakdown and leave.

  2. I couldn't agree more. And whilst we are at it could TV stop using "custody" and "access". Seriously, 20 years should be enough time to get up to date.
    And don't even get me started on "residency" orders...

  3. Ah yes, the famous residency orders...

  4. yeah and using the thoroughly outmoded 'justice' instead of the proper term 'banging up the mad, poor and black' as it has been known for many years now.

  5. Very interesting, John. I have tweeted a link with the hash tag #xl8 so that my translator colleagues can see your post, too.

  6. Thanks, Victor. Nice to see you're still reading this nonsense!


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