Friday, February 5, 2016

Winging It

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Potshot


“News is history shot on the wing. The huntsmen from the Fourth Estate seek to bag only the peacock or the eagle of the swifting day.” 

—Gene Fowler (1890-1960), journalist, author and screenwriter (Thanks to alert WORDster Armour Van Horn)




Editorial Comment: Some days, the huntsmen misfire. (Copy editors: Check your cutlines.)



PeezPix by Ted Pease

The Morning Paper








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Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Copy Editor

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Make My Day

“One of the great joys in life, for people without many joys in life, is correcting other people’s grammar. We are overshadowed by perpetual rain clouds. We snip off dangling participles, splint split infinitives, reason with antecedents until they stop being unclear. Misplaced modifiers scuttle off at our approach. This kind of stickling is the joy of people who otherwise tend to walk around looking as if someone stuck a lemon in their mouths and they didn’t have a very good morning.” 

—Alexandra Petri, columnist, “For the AP Stylebook, it’s ‘more than’ over,” The Washington Post, 2014






Editorial Comment: For my copy editing students: Make lemonade.





PeezPix by Ted Pease

Sadie Snowhound






Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ailes TV

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America Vision


“I put on an American channel for America. For old folks and young folks, and try to mix it up and make it interesting. People look at it, and I hope I get high enough ratings overall, and people will include some of the subgroups in comparable measurements. So Bill O’Reilly has the highest demo on our channel. . . . He’s in his 60s, and he’s cranky, and a lot of kids don’t want to watch his ass but they do.” 

—Roger Ailes, co-founder and CEO of Fox News, was named AdWeek’s “2015 Media Visionary,” Dec. 2, 2015


Editorial Comment: This is America’s “visionary”? That explains a lot.


PeezPix by Ted Pease

Elk Head









Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Another -30-

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A City’s Lifetime

“One hundred and forty nine years is a long life. A century and a half of so many details, so many stories, so many lives touched and changed. So much history chronicled, personalities explored, facts recorded, voices quoted, lies exposed and truths told. So many momentous events observed. A dizzying amount of information recorded in type and pictures, for 149 years. 

“Today’s edition is the final print edition of the Guelph Mercury, a publication that began as a daily newspaper the year Canada became a nation, and a dozen years before Guelph was incorporated as a city.” 

—Rob O’Flanagan, reporter, “The Guelph Mercury lived for 149 years,” the (now-defunct) Guelph (Ontario) Mercury, which closed its print operation last week, Jan. 28, 2016


Editorial Comment: So a city of 120,000 can’t support a newspaper?



PeezPix by Ted Pease

Slow Leeks








Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Challenger at 30

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Too High, Too Fast

“What was to have been both good politics and good television became instead an exposure of the dangerous symbiosis of government and news agencies, caught in the webs of their own routines and desires. The networks, enjoying their access to dramatic images, allowed themselves to be duped into believing that shuttle takeoffs were safe and routine. NASA, dependent on the news media for publicity, allowed itself to feel the heat of not keeping the media waiting any longer after several delays.” 

—Joshua Meyrowitz, media scholar, “The Ascent of Christa: Technological Hubris & the Challenger Shuttle Disaster,” on the 30th anniversary of the Challenger explosion, Huffington Post, Jan. 28, 2016 


Editorial Comment: Icarus revisited.

Related:Utah engineers’ warning was ignored,” Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 28, 2016




PeezPix by Ted Pease

Seastack Skyscape






Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Another Damn Poll

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Our Handicapped Press

“Part of what I find so jarring about the media’s insatiable appetite for polls right now is that it defies our past resolutions to go on a desperately needed diet. For all of my 30 years as a journalist, I’ve listened to reporters, editors and producers bemoan the ‘horse-race coverage’ of campaigns and exhort one another to be better come the next election and concentrate instead on issues, records, biographies, substance.

“Suddenly the apologies and exhortations are gone. We’re worse.”


—Frank Bruni, op-ed columnist, “Our Insane Addiction to Polls,” The New York Times, Jan. 23, 2016

Editorial Comment: We’ll do better next time. Promise.


PeezPix by Ted Pease

Marsh Morning









Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The View From Abroad

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Demoralizing


“Journalism over here is not only an obsession but a drawback that cannot be overrated. Politicians are frightened of the press, and in the same way as bull-fighting has a brutalising effect upon Spain . . . , headlines of murder, rape, and rubbish, excite and demoralise the American public.”


—Margot Asquith (1864-1945), British socialite and author, My Impressions of America, 1922 
(Thanks to alert WORDster Andrew Merton)

Editorial Comment: Olé!

PeezPix by Ted Pease

The Winter Wellsvilles






Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The 90th Birthday of the Idiot Box

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It’ll Never Fly


“For God’s sake, go down to reception and get rid of a lunatic who’s down there. He says he’s got a machine for seeing by wireless!” 


—London Daily Express newspaper editor, when “televisor” inventor John Logie Baird tried to show him the first television, Jan. 26, 1926, “Who invented the television? How people reacted to John Logie Baird's creation 90 years ago,” The Telegraph, Jan. 26, 2016 Image: Ralph Morse, Life, 1949


Editorial Comment: I’m with that newspaper editor. That cockamamie idea is doomed.

Related: LIFE Watches TV: Classic Photos of People and Their Television Sets,” 2016

PeezPix by Ted Pease

Camel Rock to Trinidad 












Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Glory Days

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Make the Pie Higher!

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
and potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?

They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being and the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope, where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher! 



—A compilation of statements by George W. Bush, the 43rd U.S. president, selected, arranged and fact-checked by Snopes.com, 2002 

Editorial Comment: Now seems like the glory days of American political discourse.

PeezPix by Ted Pease

Rat Hats












Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to ted.pease@gmail.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard
.