Friday, September 20, 2019

Grammatically Speaking


“You can have friends or you can correct people’s grammar.” 

—Mary Norris, The New Yorker’s famed copy queen in “The Comma Queen and the Internet’s Copy Chief on What Matters to a Copy Editor,” Literary Hub, May 1, 2019.






Editorial Comment: Throw Gramma from the train a kiss.



PeezPix

Seaswirl










FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. (Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard


Thursday, September 19, 2019

RIP, Sander Vanocur


“I’m a strong advocate of freedom of the press, as long as they have something to say.” 

—Sander Vanocur (1928-2019), veteran White House correspondent, one of the four questioners at the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy debate, died Tuesday at 91. NYTimes obit here.















Editorial Comment: According to whom?



PeezPix

Sunset, Trinidad Head









FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. (Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

RIP, Cokie


Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs Roberts (1943-2019) was a familiar and authoritative on-air voice and a gold standard in journalism since the 1960s. She reported for National Public Radio beginning in the 1970s and for ABC News beginning in the 1990s. She died of breast cancer on Tuesday.


“[W]e called them the Founding Mothers of NPR, or sometimes we called them the Fallopian Club.”—Mara Liasson, NPR reporter, referring to Cokie Roberts, Linda Wertheimer and Nina Totenberg, who all started at NPR in the 1970s.

“No, no, no, no, no granting — no granting. We had the right to vote as American citizens. We didn’t have to be granted it by some bunch of guys.” —Cokie Roberts, correcting NPR host Steve Inskeep’s statement that the 19th Amendment granted women the vote.

“In 1966 I left an on-air anchor television job in Washington, D.C., to get married. My husband was at The New York Times. For eight months I job-hunted at various New York magazines and television stations, and wherever I went I was asked how many words I could type.” —Cokie Roberts, in NYTimes interview, 1994.

“Never treated me well, but I certainly respect her as a professional.” —Donald J. Trump

Cokie Roberts was “a role model to young women at a time when the profession was still dominated by men; a constant over 40 years of a shifting media landscape and changing world, informing voters about the issues of our time and mentoring young journalists every step of the way.” —Michelle Obama

“Cokie Roberts was a trailblazer. Over five decades of celebrated journalism, Cokie shone a powerful light on the unsung women heroes who built our nation, but whose stories had long gone untold. As she helped tell the full story of America’s history, she helped shape its future — inspiring countless young women and girls to follow in her groundbreaking footsteps.” —Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House.

“I’m proud as hell — proud as hell — to work at a news organization that has ‘Founding Mothers’ whom we all look up to. God bless Cokie Roberts.” —Danielle Kurtzleben, NPR reporter, on Twitter.

“[O]ne of the first guilty culprits of fake news.” —Michelle Malkin, conservative commentator.

“Cokie’s kindness, generosity, sharp intellect and thoughtful take on the big issues of the day made ABC a better place and all of us better journalists.” —James Goldston, president of ABC News.

“I’m the only person in my original nuclear family who didn’t run for Congress. ... I have always felt semi-guilty about it. But I’ve sort of assuaged my guilt by writing about it and feeling like I’m educating people about the government and how to be good voters and good citizens.” —Cokie Roberts, in WaPost interview, 2019.

Roberts’ death was a “complete, irreplaceable loss” to the field. “She was a pioneer, a mentor, committed to integrity and truth, a driving force in trying to change the system that held women back.” —Farrah Fazal, investigative reporter.

“Our newsroom is in tears. My phone and email are bursting with more tears. The country has lost a great journalist. But I and so many thousands of others have lost a great friend. Yes, thousands of others.”

“I went to see her Monday night in the hospital. I am not sure that she could hear me. But when I said goodbye, I told her I’d see her on the other side, at that big broadcasting studio somewhere, and that I knew she would still be a star.” —Nina Totenberg, NPR legal affairs reporter, “‘The Personification of Human Decency’: Nina Totenberg Remembers Cokie Roberts,” NPR, Sept. 17, 2019.




FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. (Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard



Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Career Choices


“I do not want to be a doctor and live by men’s diseases, nor a minister to live by their sins, nor a lawyer and live by their quarrels. So I don’t see that there is anything left for me but to be an author.” 

—Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), writer, in conversation with his mother about his career options. (Thanks to alert WORDster Mark Larson, reporting from Salem, Mass.)














Editorial Comment: Whereupon, he whipped out a quill and dashed out to report on the latest witch-burning in Salem’s public square.



PeezPix

Gail’s Rose









FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. (Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard


Monday, September 16, 2019

If It’s Online, It Must Be True



“Let’s say I call myself the Institute for Something-or-Other and I decide to promote a spurious treatise saying the Jews were entirely responsible for the second world war and the Holocaust didn’t happen. And it goes out there on the internet and is available on the same terms as any piece of historical research which has undergone peer review and so on.

“There’s a kind of parity of esteem of information on the net. It’s all there: there’s no way of finding out whether this stuff has any bottom to it or whether someone has just made it up.” 


  —Terry Pratchett (1948-2015), author and journalist, in “Terry Pratchett predicted the rise of fake news in 1995, says biographer,” The Guardian, May 30, 2019.
Cartoon: Peter Steiner’s 1993 cartoon is The New Yorker’s most-reproduced.
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Editorial Comment: Online, all ‘facts’ are created equal.


 

-->PeezPix 
 Frolic









FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. (Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Friday, September 13, 2019

Nature Photography


“Instagram users who love the outdoors have a habit of ruining the wild places they touch — a perverse irony that seems lost on them. 

“It is now axiomatic that a locale of stunning natural beauty will quickly degrade into a morass of crowding once it is posted on the platform as a pristine image. The herd instinct kicks in, and other users who also want to be photographed in those same lovely landscapes converge with their own cameras and Instagram accounts and followers — ad infinitum, ad nauseam.”
 
—Christopher Ketcham, writer, “How Instagram Ruined the Great Outdoors,” The New Republic, April 18, 2019. Image: James Cameron, Arches National Park, Utah.
   



Editorial Comment: Communing with nature and a few hundred of your iPhone besties.



PeezPix

Tunaface.













FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. (Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Enemies Stopped at the Border


“He wanted to know if I’d ever worked for CNN or MSNBC or other outlets that are ‘spreading lies to the American people.’ He aggressively told me that journalists are liars and are attacking their democracy.” 

—James Dwyer, online editor-in-chief, Empire magazine, “Journalist stopped by U.S. border agent for ‘being part of the fake news media,’” The Independent, Aug. 23, 2019. 








Editorial Comment: And what’s that notebook in your carry-on, bub?



PeezPix

Barn Bath.










FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. (Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. 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, September 11, 2019

Remember


The WORDmeister says: Attacks on the “lamestream media” and “fake news” are bull, of course, strategies to kill the stories that unite and connect us. Without many people and many perspectives to record our stories, the day’s events — and our very history — are lost forever. It’s how we remember.

“It is the job of journalism, and of witnesses, to tell the stories of what happened. It is how we gain or retain perspective, see things through the eyes of those who were there, and remember what should not be forgotten.”

—Caleb Howe, reporter, “The Journalism of 9/11,” Mediaite, 2018. Image:
U.S. Navy Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images













FREE! Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email This free “service” is sent to 2,000,000 or so subscribers around the planet more or less every weekday morning during WORD season. If you have recovered from whatever illness 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. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 
 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. (Be)Friend The WORD

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard