Letter To The Editor

registerlogo2013blackserviceI just wrote a letter to the editor. It was about a column in today’s Orange County Register.

It made me angry. Incensed. A lie masquerading as truth.

It was about fast food workers, McDonald’s in particular and the push for a higher minimum wage. The argument was made using the wrong data. With real world numbers it quickly falls apart.

Devious or dumb? Who knows? Both make me sad.

Alas, newspapers don’t have the impact they once had. My daughter will never buy a paper. She still consumes news, her own curated version. We all have that power today.

Columnists have fewer potential readers than ever before. It’s an older crowd that gets the paper. Competing content is everywhere.

Whatever reach he has, my letter (if published) correcting his misguidance will have even less!

Dear English Teachers

2012_APSTYLEBOOK_COVERDear English Teachers,

I try hard as I can, but writing is difficult. English is difficult.

You didn’t warn me.

Writing was an unpleasant chore in school. Now, it’s fun. The downside, I examine what I’m writing more closely.

I was led to believe grammar rules are hard and fast. They are not!

To, two and too–I’m good with those. Same for their, there and they’re. No comma after and, fine.

I’m still old school and add two spaces after a period. The web defaults to removing the second empty space. My quirk is hidden.

My bigger problem is where to break paragraphs, place commas and how to use semicolons? I have never consciously used a semicolon. Where have I gone wrong?

I sometimes write in my own personal “Geoff English.” One word sentences. My blog posts are sprinkled with them. Often. Just adjectives or adverbs.

Short paragraphs.

I use lots of single sentence paragraphs. Is that wrong?

Every word in the blog gets written then rewritten, often a few times. Sentences get shorter with each revision. Shorter is better.

Today the Associated Press, defacto arbiter of the language through its AP Style Book, announced a change. From Mashable:

In the new version of its venerated Stylebook, used by hundreds of news organizations across the country, the Associated Press will allow “over” as a synonym for “more than.”

In other words, it will now be acceptable to say:

There were over 78 crocodiles at the metallurgist’s convention.

Where it was previously only acceptable to say:

There were more than 78 crocodiles at the metallurgist’s convention.

According to Merriam-Webster lexicographer Peter Sokolowski, there were audible gasps when the change was announced.

Something else I’ve been doing wrong. Thanks.