This criticism came from faithful FT reader Brian Langdon-Pratt, who was in a state:
I'm shocked! Yes, really shocked! Reading the Financial Times last Friday -- as I’ve done for the past 40 years -- I came across two howlers. In the summary review by Nigel Andrews of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, he writes: “The hero Charlie wants to be ... even medalled as a social soldier”, and then later he compounds the grammatical offence by writing: "... half-brother Patrick is crash-coursed in literature". At least he put in a hyphen!
I know that standards of English grammar have slipped, but from Mr Andrews’ photo insert he looks old enough to know -- and hopefully to have been taught -- better.The verb to medal has been around in the current sense since the 1960s, and Americans have complained about it for decades already. But as Graham at Linguism recently pointed out, medal is somewhat less familiar to the Brits, so if they want to smack it around a bit before they (inevitably) accept it, that's OK. The nonce coinage "crash-coursed," on the other hand, needs no defense -- the author isn't trying to impose it on the English-speaking world, he's just having a bit of fun.
But what about that "hopefully"? Does Langdon-Pratt not know that sentence-adverbial hopefully is (in Bryan Garner's terminology) a "skunked term" for true peevologists? I thought that perhaps hopefully aversion -- like our American which-that fetishism -- might have simply bypassed Britain. But according to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, "the ranks of hopefully haters grew steadily" in America from the mid-'60s to 1975, the year that "the issue seems to have crossed the Atlantic." British objectors, says MWDEU, "would repeat all the things American viewers with alarm had said, and add the charge of 'Americanism' to them."
You'd think a 40-year FT reader and language watcher would have encountered his culture's hopefully hostility at an impressionable age. But none of us can observe every language peeve, however attentive we may be -- hence the ubiquity, and inexorability, of Muphry's (etc.) Law.