Being the Curmudgeon

 

I sent an email to the metro editor at the San Antonio Express-News this morning, about the following passage from an article about a board dispute at a local school district. Quote from the article:

Rep. Roland Gutierrez wrote a letter to Sen. Flores, which he shared on Twitter, calling the senator’s efforts to reign in the South San board “ill-conceived, ill-advised, and poorly received by your peers.”

I had read the article in my dead-tree edition, then went and looked at it online. The mistake was there, and the online headline included it.

I commented on it and the same day the headline was changed, but today, nine days later, the mistake remained in the text of the article so I emailed the metro editor. I’ll be interested to see how long it takes for it to be fixed.

Is it too much to expect a reporter to know the difference in words like “reign” and “rein?” Is it an autocorrect or spellcheck sort of error? I have seen many people write “free reign” when I am pretty sure they meant “free rein.” And the other thing I wonder is, why use a word when you really don’t know the meaning? Seeking comments from newsmen. (James.)

Like I said in the title, I know it’s sort of curmudgeonly to point it out but otherwise how will it ever get better?

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 40 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. Coolidge

    It’s a shoe-in for misteak of the week.

    • #1
    • April 20, 2019, at 6:41 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  2. Member

    Longtime editor here and I feel your pain. Another misuse that always makes me chuckle is when someone “pours over” a book, thus ruining its pages. 

    • #2
    • April 20, 2019, at 6:50 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  3. Thatcher

    I was told once, after encouraging someone to watch for things like your example, “I don’t have time for that sort of thing.” When you show such persons an error, no matter how politely and gently, and now matter that your motives are trying to help them succeed – to most you are just an annoyance. But your last sentence is pretty much correct.

    Tex929rr: I know it’s sort of curmudgeonly to point it out, but otherwise how will it ever get better?

    I don’t bother correcting unless I want the other to do well. Newspapers? MSM? Not so much.

    • #3
    • April 20, 2019, at 6:50 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. Coolidge
    Tex929rr Post author

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    It’s a shoe-in for misteak of the week.

    Or even of the weak!

    I have no idea, but does English have an unusually large number of homophones?

    And I’ll bet this thread would feel like non-stop gratuitous micro aggressions to an average progressive millennial.

    • #4
    • April 20, 2019, at 7:07 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Thatcher

    Our local paper is so chock full of mistakes, there’s no use in pointing them out because they might offer me a job as editor. My favorite was a local reporter who covered an accident, then wrote about how one car ended up in the “medium”. She meant “median” . . .

    • #5
    • April 20, 2019, at 7:28 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Member

    It’s not going to get better. 

    • #6
    • April 20, 2019, at 7:41 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Coolidge

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    It’s a shoe-in for misteak of the week.

    Or even of the weak!

    I have no idea, but does English have an unusually large number of homophones?

    And I’ll bet this thread would feel like non-stop gratuitous micro aggressions to an average progressive millennial.

    Are you a homophonophobic?

    • #7
    • April 20, 2019, at 8:00 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  8. Coolidge

    Stad (View Comment):

    Our local paper is so chock full of mistakes, there’s no use in pointing them out because they might offer me a job as editor. My favorite was a local reporter who covered an accident, then wrote about how one car ended up in the “medium”. She meant “median” . . .

    Paranormal journalism.

    • #8
    • April 20, 2019, at 8:03 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  9. Member

    For some reason the one that gets me is “hoard” and “horde”.

    Also, how many boards would the Mongols hoard if the Mongol hordes got bored?

    • #9
    • April 20, 2019, at 8:25 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  10. Member

    I have heard that, in the current wave of newspaper cutbacks, the editorial staff is the first to go. I have also noticed that that seems to be the case.

    • #10
    • April 20, 2019, at 8:36 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Member

    It’s probably like an athletic playing down to his or her competition.

    • #11
    • April 20, 2019, at 9:03 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Member

    Tex929rr: Is it too much to expect a reporter to know the difference in words like “reign” and “rein”?

    From what I read in news media, yes it is too much to expect.

    • #12
    • April 20, 2019, at 10:13 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Thatcher
    She

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    I have no idea, but does English have an unusually large number of homophones?

    If you don’t put the breaks on, Aisle have to bare witness to your homophonophobia. Please don’t become a cereal offender in this manor.

    • #13
    • April 20, 2019, at 10:39 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  14. Coolidge
    Tex929rr Post author

    5 hours and no change. I always figured editors needed to work weekends, but I suspect standards have slipped all across the newsroom.

    • #14
    • April 20, 2019, at 11:06 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Coolidge
    Tex929rr Post author

    Stad (View Comment):

    Our local paper is so chock full of mistakes, there’s no use in pointing them out because they might offer me a job as editor. My favorite was a local reporter who covered an accident, then wrote about how one car ended up in the “medium”. She meant “median” . . .

    I sent an email to the local (small town) paper about misusing “alumni” and to their credit every time since they use alumnus, alumna, and alumni correctly. I also emailed the editor once when he wrote an editorial about “imminent domain” and said it repeatedly. Never heard back about that one.

    • #15
    • April 20, 2019, at 11:26 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Thatcher

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    For some reason the one that gets me is “hoard” and “horde”.

    Also, how many boards would the Mongols hoard if the Mongol hordes got bored?

    Cavalry vs. Calvary. Aargh!

    • #16
    • April 20, 2019, at 11:27 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  17. Thatcher
    1.  No proofreaders anymore
    2. Writers and editors who are products of the US public school system No instruction in proper spelling either. Even the Wall Street Journal has gone downhill in the editing department.
    • #17
    • April 20, 2019, at 11:40 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Thatcher

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    1. No proofreaders anymore
    2. Writers and editors who are products of the US public school system No instruction in proper spelling either. Even the Wall Street Journal has gone downhill in the editing department.

    Furthermore, our paper not only reprints AP stories without checking them (AP stories also have mistakes), but they will truncate an article mid-sentence when they run out of room on the page. No attempt to rewrite and make a sentence end properly:

    “After his arrest, Smith’s relatives gathered outside the”

    • #18
    • April 20, 2019, at 12:00 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Member

    She (View Comment):

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    I have no idea, but does English have an unusually large number of homophones?

    If you don’t put the breaks on, Aisle have to bare witness to your homophonophobia. Please don’t become a cereal offender in this manor.

    I wouldn’t want to have that affect.

    • #19
    • April 20, 2019, at 12:36 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Member

    It may be curmudgeonly, but presumably the point of writing those articles is to communicate something to an audience. If the writers make it hard for the reader to understand, the readers will stop reading, and then there’s no point in the writers writing.

     

    • #20
    • April 20, 2019, at 1:26 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Coolidge
    Tex929rr Post author

     

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    It may be curmudgeonly, but presumably the point of writing those articles is to communicate something to an audience. If the writers make it hard for the reader to understand, the readers will stop reading, and then there’s no point in the writers writing.

    The last numbers I can find show the paper with several hundred thousand readers. I wonder how many never noticed?

     

    • #21
    • April 20, 2019, at 1:44 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Member

    And where’s that blasted plain?

    • #22
    • April 20, 2019, at 2:01 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Coolidge
    TBA

    Sure, their editors may not be able to spot mistakes anymore, but newspapers still have their spotless ethical record to fall back on. 

    • #23
    • April 20, 2019, at 5:28 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  24. Member

    One gets the feeling many reporters didn’t start with the right children’s books.

    • #24
    • April 21, 2019, at 5:45 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Thatcher

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    I have no idea, but does English have an unusually large number of homophones?

    If you don’t put the breaks on, Aisle have to bare witness to your homophonophobia. Please don’t become a cereal offender in this manor.

    I wouldn’t want to have that affect.

    Eye agree.

    • #25
    • April 21, 2019, at 6:38 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Thatcher

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    And where’s that blasted plain?

    In plain sight . . .

    • #26
    • April 21, 2019, at 6:39 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    And where’s that blasted plain?

    In plain sight . . .

    You blew that one, Stad. I’m sure you meant to say “In plane site.”

    • #27
    • April 21, 2019, at 7:13 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. Thatcher

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    And where’s that blasted plain?

    In plain sight . . .

    You blew that one, Stad. I’m sure you meant to say “In plane site.”

    LOL you’re right! I thought of that, but then I got distracted when a cat rubbed my legs. Short attention spans come with age.

    Now, what were we talking about?

    • #28
    • April 21, 2019, at 2:24 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. Member

    Its not just newspapers. I had a young engineer working for me who would hand in a report which he clearly hadn’t proofread. (yes – engineers should be able to write so their thoughts can be understood) I would point out to him that if he couldn’t be bothered to review his own work, why should I – or anyone else – put any faith in it.

    Never worked.

    • #29
    • April 21, 2019, at 3:49 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Thatcher

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Its not just newspapers. I had a young engineer working for me who would hand in a report which he clearly hadn’t proofread. (yes – engineers should be able to write so their thoughts can be understood) I would point out to him that if he couldn’t be bothered to review his own work, why should I – or anyone else – put any faith in it.

    Never worked.

    Been there. Done that. Never worked for me, either.

    • #30
    • April 21, 2019, at 3:51 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  1. 1
  2. 2