Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Those Were the Days, My Friend


Feeding the Beast


“All too often there’s enormous pressure on journalists to fill the void and feed the beast with instant commentary and Twitter rumors and celebrity gossip and softer stories. And then we fail to understand our world or understand one another as well as we should. That has consequences for our lives and for the life of our country.” 

—Barack Obama, addressing annual gathering of Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting, ”Alec MacGillis of ProPublica Wins Toner Prize for Political Reporting,” ProPublica, March 28, 2016

Editorial Comment: Yum. What’s that guy talking about? Can I read it on Twitter?


PeezPix by Ted Pease


Uh-oh










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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

AIDS Day

.
WORDnote: Today is World AIDS Day.
 
‘What’s AIDS?’

“On Oct. 15, 1982, at a White House press briefing, reporter Lester Kinsolving asked press secretary Larry Speakes about a horrifying new disease called AIDS that was ravaging the gay community.

“‘What’s AIDS?‘ Speakes asked.

“‘It’s known as the ‘gay plague,’” Kinsolving replied.

“Everyone laughed.

“‘I don’t have it,’ Speakes replied. ‘Do you?’ The room erupted in laughter again.

“Speakes continued to parry Kinsolving’s questions with quips, joking that Kinsolving himself might be gay simply because he knew about the disease. The press secretary eventually acknowledged that nobody in the White House, including Reagan, knew anything about the epidemic.”

—Mark Joseph Stern,Listen to Reagan’s Press Secretary Laugh About Gay People Dying of AIDS,” Slate, Dec. 1, 2015
 
Editorial Comment: Happy World AIDS Day.


 
PeezPix by Ted Pease


Woodley Island Marina
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, November 30, 2016

Reading Recommendation

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Canned Chatter
 
“To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worthwhile. ... The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter.”
 
―Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography



Editorial Comment: Good advice. But what sane person would take advice from this guy?


 
PeezPix by Ted Pease


A Street, Eureka, Califonia













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, November 29, 2016

Speaking in Tongues


. . . . and Rumors


“I have often spoken of rumors as ‘terrorism,’ of how you can kill a person with the tongue,” Francis said.

“If this is valid for an individual person, in the family or at work, so much more it’s valid for journalists, because their voice can reach everyone, and this is a very powerful weapon,” he said.

Criticism, the pope continued, is legitimate, as well as the “denunciation of evil, but this must always be done respecting the other, his life, his affections,” because an article is replaced from one day to the other, but the life of a person “unjustly defamed can be destroyed forever.” 

—Pope Francis, Pope says journalism based on rumors and fear is ‘terrorism’, The Crux, Sept. 22, 2016 (Thanks to alert WORDster Steve Marston)

Editorial Comment: I heard the news today . . . . oh BOY!

PeezPix by Ted Pease


Headless












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, November 28, 2016

Just Shut Up


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Punditry

“What transpires during the paid [pundit] contributor segments isn’t journalism. It isn’t politics. And it’s rarely even entertaining. I’d call it the worst sort of tasteless soy filler, only that would be an insult to soy, which is nutritious.”
—Jack Shafer, pundit and commentator, “CNN Dumped Donna Brazile. It Should Keep Going,” Politico, Oct. 31, 2016

Editorial Comment: Soy, anyone? 



PeezPix by Ted Pease


Rockhead













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, November 26, 2016

There Will Be A Tomorrow

Amazing and courageous journalist Christiane Amanpour receives the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for her work in the cause of press freedom at the International Press Freedom Awards. Her speech made me cry. Watch it. Listen. Use it. https://youtu.be/NawMb9ia0F4

Friday, November 25, 2016

Blossoms

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Thanks & Giving



“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
  
—Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist.














Editorial Comment: Thank you, everyone. Still stuffing. No turkeys, please.


PeezPix by Ted Pease


Sunrise













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, November 23, 2016

Changing Times

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Heirs of the First Revolution




—John F. Kennedy (1913-1963), 35th U.S. president, was assassinated yesterday 53 years ago. URL


Editorial Comment: Is the world is very different today?


PeezPix by Ted Pease


Sunrise













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