Monday, November 30, 2015

Money and Books

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Point/Counterpoint

“When I get a little money I buy books,” said Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), philosopher, humanist and theologian. “And if any is left I buy food and clothes.”

Sometime later, American writer Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) observed, “I’d like to have money. And I’d like to be a good writer. These two can come together, and I hope they will, but it that’s too adorable, I’d rather have money.”

Editorial Comment: To buy books for the dog, right, Dottie?

PeezPix by Ted Pease

Equal time: A cat



 





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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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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanks

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Dear Turkeys: The WORD is so distressed by recent world events that he’s taking a few days off. The excuse is good old American gluttony and overindulgence. But the real plan does not include an enormous feast: He’ll hang with the dogs and his sweet baboo, stare at his navel, and look for balance. And he’ll be damn grateful for the chance. Good thoughts, all. —TP 
 
Thanksgiving Traditions

“I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.”

—Jon Stewart, murderous, unemployed land-grabber



Editorial Comment: But what’s for dinner?




PeezPix by Ted Pease

Fixer-Upper


 





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.) 
 
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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Monday, November 23, 2015

Open Minds

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Suppress That Thought! 

“Hostility to the exercise of free speech on American college campuses is nothing new. But what happened at Yale University, the University of Missouri and other colleges over the past two weeks is something new and frightening. The suppression of speech in academia has begun to spiral out of control.”


—Nat Hentoff, columnist and author, “Suppression of Free Speech in Academia Is Out of Control,” Cato.org, Nov. 18, 2015

Editorial Comment: Protest is nothing new, strange or bad at college. But screaming down and shaming people who disagree, that's not how to learn about new ideas.

PeezPix by Ted Pease

On the Waterfront


 





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.) 
 
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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Friday, November 20, 2015

Storyteller

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Pass It Along


“Do stories grow? Pretty obviously — anybody who has ever heard a joke being passed on from one person to another knows that they can grow, they can change. Can stories reproduce? Well, yes. Not spontaneously, obviously — they tend to need people as vectors. We are the media in which they reproduce; we are their petri dishes…

“Stories grow, sometimes they shrink. And they reproduce — they inspire other stories. And, of course, if they do not change, stories die.”

—Neil Gaiman, English science fiction author, “Neil Gaiman on How Stories Last,” Brainpickings, June 2015

Editorial Comment: That’s a pretty good definition of how journalism works.

PeezPix by Ted Pease

Seascape




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.) 
 
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, November 19, 2015

Hate Mail

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Just Shoot Him


“I get a lot of hate mail, but it’s predictable. They claim I’m sort of taking advantage of free speech, that I ought to go to Russia, where I’d be shot, and that if America was any good, I’d be shot here, too.” 

—Tony Auth (1942-2014), Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist, 1977, quoted in his Washington Post obit, 2014

Editorial Comment: If he’d lived a little longer, Auth could have been shot right here in America, the way things are going.

PeezPix by Ted Pease

Keyboard








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.) 
 
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 18, 2015

No News Is . . .

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. . . Well, No News 

“These trends have left many people wondering who will collect hard news for the general public. While the Internet world has made it possible for everyone to express their opinion widely — whether they know anything or not — it has also confused readers. In the absence of supposedly neutral intermediaries such as reporters, fact-checkers and editors, readers are having a hard time judging the credibility of what they read.” 

—Elaine C. Kamarck and Ashley Gabriele, researchers, “The news today: 7 trends in old and new media,” The Brookings Institution, November 2015

Editorial Comment: Credibility”?

PeezPix by Ted Pease

Apples!
















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.) 
 
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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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dear Professor . . .

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Your Life’s Work Sucks

“Harvard’s Steven Pinker . . . authored an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education in which he used adjectives like ‘turgid, soggy, wooden, bloated, clumsy, obscure, unpleasant to read, and impossible to understand’ to describe academic writing. In an email, Pinker told me that the reaction to his article ‘has been completely positive.’” 

—Victoria Clayton, writer, “The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing: A new movement strivesfor simplicity,” The Atlantic, October 26, 2015 


Editorial Comment: Reviewer #2, however, dismissed Pinker’s argument as “sophomoric, pedestrian, oompa-loompish and unsupported by his own null hypothesis.” Be like that.

PeezPix by Ted Pease

Art Alley















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.) 
 
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 16, 2015

Clowncar

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Crazy Roadtrip 2016


“Even if you don’t give a damn about what’s happened to the once-storied free press, consider the consequences to a once-storied political party. The main reason that Republican politicians sound so crazy of late is because they get their information, and validation, from the twisted world of partisan media outlets.” 

—Timothy Egan, op-ed writer, “Beat the Press,” The New York Times, Nov. 13, 2015

Editorial Comment: That’s one Grand Old Party.


PeezPix by Ted Pease

Coloring Kit











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.) 
 
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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Friday, November 13, 2015

How to Blow Up a Blimp

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Note: Kurt Vonnegut would have been 93 this week. One can only imagine — or can’t, really — what he might have made of that.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Vonnegut


“Novelists have, on the average, about the same IQs as the cosmetic consultants at Bloomingdale’s department store. Our power is patience. We have discovered that writing allows even a stupid person to seem halfway intelligent, if only that person will write the same thought over and over again, improving it just a little bit each time. It is a lot like inflating a blimp with a bicycle pump. Anybody can do it. All it takes is time.”


—Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), writer, thinker and free spirit, from Palm Sunday, 1981



Editorial Comment: Sometimes I think, though, “I should have picked a smaller blimp.”



PeezPix by Ted Pease

Cumulus














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.) 
 
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, November 12, 2015

New-Fangled

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HOW COOL IS THIS?

Mark Twain bought his first “new fangled writing machine” in Boston in 1874, and tried it out for the first time with the help of someone named Susie in this letter to his brother, Orion. Which raises a number of unanswered questions. This Remington No. 1 typed ONLY IN CAPS. In 1883, Orion’s brother delivered the first-ever typewritten mss. to his publisher, Life on the Mississippi. We’re assuming that by then, Remington had developed lowercase. In whatever case, pretty cool.


Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note


Editorial Comment: Susie the research assistant? And did you hear about Sam and Orion’s secret sister, Kryptonia?

PeezPix by Ted Pease

Parker Creek to Prisoner Rock

















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.) 
 
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
.