Friday, January 20, 2017

Press Corps Letter to The Donald

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Good Reminder



“Dear Mr. President-Elect: . . . Best-case scenario, you’re going to be in this job for eight years. We’ve been around since the founding of the republic, and our role in this great democracy has been ratified and reinforced again and again and again. You have forced us to rethink the most fundamental questions about who we are and what we are here for. For that we are most grateful.” 


—Kyle Pope, An open letter to Trump from the U.S. press corps,” Columbia Journalism Review, Jan. 17, 2017

Editorial Comment: Who are we, again, and what are we doing here?


PeezPix by Ted Pease


Morning in America








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 19, 2017

But He Played One on TV

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Buffoon Spotlight


“So Stewart wasn’t an actual news anchor. What his show did with comedy was a kind of journalism nonetheless, using satire and some thorough research of source material to analyze the news and analyze its analysis. Any honest media critic knew that Stewart was doing the job better than the rest of us. His show turned TV’s own tools and language against it to spotlight buffoonery, bad faith, hot air, and hypocrisy. Do the same thing in print and you’re an op-ed columnist. Stewart and company simply managed to do it in a format that people paid attention to.”

—James Poneiwozik, media writer, “Jon Stewart, the Fake Newsman Who Made a Real Difference,” Time, Feb. 10, 2015 

Editorial Comment: I can’t blame him for sitting this one out. His head would have exploded on TV, which would have been sad.


PeezPix by Ted Pease


Eureka's Old Salt












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 18, 2017

New Press Model

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Guerrilla Journalism


“In his own way, Trump has set us free. Reporters must treat Inauguration Day as a kind of Liberation Day to explore news outside the usual Washington circles. He has been explicit in his disdain for the press and his dislike for press conferences, prickly to the nth degree about being challenged and known for his vindictive way with those who cross him. So, forget about the White House press room. It’s time to circle behind enemy lines.”

—Jack Shafer, columnist, “Trump Is Making Journalism Great Again,” Politico magazine, Jan. 16, 2017 Image: Ernie Pyle’s journalism model



Editorial Comment: Is that Wolf Blitzer hiding in the bushes outside the Oval?


PeezPix by Ted Pease

Front Porch












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 17, 2017

Buck Up, America

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Our Murrow Moment

“The Trump Years promise to be full of Oval Office insults, Twitter attacks and disregard for facts. But rather than viewing the prospect of covering a Trump administration with exhaustion, we should feel invigorated. Because when this time is done, we will look back on it as the best and most important time to be a journalist — not because it was easy, but because it was hard and our sense of mission was clear: to respect the office of the President while holding the person in power accountable against a standard of enduring American values.” 
— Jon Avlon, journalist, “Our Murrow Moment,” The Daily Beast, Dec. 31, 2016


Editorial Comment: Look back at how Edward R. Murrow handled his bully.


PeezPix by Ted Pease



One Bridge at a Time











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, January 16, 2017

Thoughts for MLK Day at the Dawn of a New Era

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An MLK Birthday Medley

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

 • • •

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

 • • •
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
• • •
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
 • • •
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and a conscientious stupidity.”
 • • •
“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verbs agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”
• • •

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”
 
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)



Editorial Comment: The Dream lives, even in these dark days.



PeezPix by Ted Pease


Woof?








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

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Gov. Moonbeam

WORDistas: This is not specifically WORDish, since the WORD is off at the sanitarium. But there is WORD-stuff in here — about truth-telling, politics and our role in the world. Now that I am a Californian, I can finally be proud of my governor.

Check it out: This Jerry Brown address on climate and politics to 25,000 geophysicists in SF on Thursday is absolutely inspirational. Watch it. And read Jim Fallow’s commentary. At 30, Jerry Brown was California's youngest governor. At 70, he came back and became our oldest. He is great. Seriously. Watch it. And I love his eyebrows.

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/12/this-is-what-the-resistance-sounds-like/510899/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+JamesFallows+%28The+Atlantic+-+James+Fallows%29

Monday, December 12, 2016

Lazy Bastard

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Today’s WORD on Journalism 
Afflicting the comfortable since 1995
Monday,  December 12, 2015 


Hiatus


Dear WORDistas:

You know, I have always checked out of the WORD when classes are over for Christmas Break. And even though I am retired, and really have no actual excuses, my wife reminds me that I should take some time off. She is trying to save me from a heart attack. God love her. In this time of Trumpification and other obscenities that raise my blood pressure, I think she has a good point.

So I have sent the WORD off to St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose and Insanely Fixated on Politics for the “holidays.” We’ll be back and renewed in January.

Maybe February.

Or, you know, don’t hold your breath.


— Dr. Ted, Professor of Formerly Interesting But Now Totally Disgusting Stuff, Trinidad, California

“It is well for people who think to change their minds occasionally in order to keep them clean.” —Luther Burbank


“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, December 8, 2016

Pop-Ups

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Toasty
“Television is like the American toaster, you push the button and the same thing pops up every time.”

  —Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980), filmmaker







Editorial Comment: Pop Tarts?






PeezPix by Ted Pease


Yum







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, December 6, 2016

Miracle Nylons


WORDmeister Note: The Pearl Harbor attack that started the Pacific war in WWII occurred on this day in 1941.
 
Those Were the Days, My Friend


“That December, Americans were reading Edna Ferber’s best-seller, ‘Saratoga Trunk,’ at $2.50 a copy. For 55 cents, they could get a matinee seat on Broadway to see Lillian Hellman’s anti-Nazi play, ‘Watch on the Rhine.’ For $38 you could buy an expensive suit at Rogers Peet in New York. Or ‘miracle’ nylons for $1.65.”







Editorial Comment: I want one of those suits. Or nylons.




PeezPix by Ted Pease


At the Float










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, December 5, 2016

Disturbing Times


Make Waves. Or Bark Loudly


“The question is whether or not you choose to disturb the world around you, or if you choose to let it go on as if you had never arrived.”



—Ann Patchett, writer

Editorial Comment: I would just point out that “whether or not” is redundant. But I agree with the point: What could be more disturbing than a dachshund? Make a disturbance or crawl in a hole and stay there.

PeezPix by Ted Pease


Eureka’s TubaChristmas. Oompppp!












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, December 2, 2016

Safire Rules


50 pretty good grammar rules

1. No sentence fragments.


2. Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.


3. A writer must not shift your point of view.


4. Do not put statements in the negative form.


5. Don't use contractions in formal writing.


6. The adverb always follows the verb.


7. Make an all out effort to hyphenate when necessary but not when un-necessary.


8. Don't use Capital letters without good REASON.


9. It behooves us to avoid archaisms.


10. Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.


11. Write all adverbial forms correctly.


12. In their writing, everyone should make sure that their pronouns agree with its antecedent.


13. Use the semicolon properly, use it between complete but related thoughts; and not between independent clause and a mere phrase.


14. Don't use no double negatives.


15. Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.


16. When a dependent clause precedes an independent clause put a comma after the dependent clause.


17. If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times: Resist hyperbole.


18. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.


19. Avoid commas, that are not necessary.


20. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.


21. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.


22. “The male pronoun embraces the female” is a nonsexist standard that should be followed by all humankind.


23. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.


24. The passive voice should never be used.


25. Writing carefully, dangling participles should be avoided.


26. Unless you are quoting other people's exclamations, kill all exclamation points!!!


27. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.


28. The rigid rule of “i before e except after c” raises spelling to a sceince.


29. Proofread carefully to see if you any word out.


30. Use parallel structure when you write and in speaking.


31. Boycott eponyms.


32. Ixnay on colloquial stuff.


33. Of all the rules about indefinite pronouns, none is useful.


34. Zap onomatopoeia.


35. Resist new verb forms that have snuck into the language.


36. Better to walk through the valley of the shadow of death than to string prepositional phrases.


37. You should just avoid confusing readers with misplaced modifiers.


38. One will not have needed the future perfect tense in one's entire life.


39. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences — such as those of 10 or more words — to their antecedents.


40. Eschew dialect, irregardless.


41. Remember to never split an infinitive.


42. Take the bull by the hand and don't mix metaphors.


43. Don't verb nouns.


44. De-accession euphemisms.


45. Always pick on the correct idiom.


46. If this were subjunctive, I'm in the wrong mood.


47. Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.


48. “Avoid overuse of ‘quotation “marks.”’’

49. Never use prepositions to end sentences with.


50. Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague.

–William Safire (1929-2009), columnist, author and language guy.

Editorial Comment: Sadly, not everyone will understand this advice.

PeezPix by Ted Pease


Squashed












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