Monday, November 24, 2014

English Majors

Customer Service

“On behalf of the newspaper industry (new, cost-cutting motto: ‘All the News That’) I wish to announce some changes we’re making to serve you better. When I say ‘serve you better,’ I mean ‘increase our profits.’ We newspapers are very big on profits these days. We’re a business, just like any other business, except that we employ English majors.”
—Dave Barry, columnist/philosopher, Miami Herald, 2001

Editorial Comment: But maybe not enough copy editors and fact-checkers. Read on . . .

Semi-Related News: From the New York Times WTFOooooops! Department: 

“Editors’ Note: November 22, 2014: An earlier version of this column was published in error. That version included what purported to be an interview that Kanye West gave to a Chicago radio station in which he compared his own derrière to that of his wife, Kim Kardashian. Mr. West’s quotes were taken, without attribution, from the satirical website The Daily Currant. There is no radio station WGYN in Chicago; the interview was fictitious, and should not have been included in the column.” —Correcting Joyce Wadler’s “I Was Misinformed” column, Nov. 21, 2014. No kidding.

Here’s the uncorrected Wadler column, which ran Friday. Thanks to Poynter.

PeezPix by Ted Pease 


TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM is a free “service” sent to the 1,800 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 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.) 
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
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“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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