Inner Editor Feed

Keeping Up With the Changes

When my mom first got email, she always used all caps. It made sense—this is the woman who sent an actual telegram to my dorm room in college when I had gone a few weeks without calling. (None of us had ever seen one before.) When I suggest apps to her she tells me that her iPad only has Scrabble and Netflix on it, as if that is all it could ever do. She’ll never change. But, some institutions can, and do. The Associated Press announced recently that they will finally stop capitalizing “Internet,” reducing the cringe level of the English-using world by about 30%. And this week the National Weather Service tells us that they will “stop shouting”—i.e., issuing weather dispatches and warnings in all-caps. No more “HIGH SURF ADVISORY IN EFFECT,” just a more measured “High Surf Advisory in Effect.” They will still use all upper-case when a threat is imminent, or for advisories with international implications, but for the most part, expect your forecasts to be less panic-inducing and more conversational. So if these big institutions can change the ways that they talk about the internet and the way that they behave on it, why does it seem so hard for individuals to do the same thing? I don’t just mean my mom. Are there times when trolls become decent conversationalists? Could a constant self-promoter ever stop and read what others have to say? I wonder. I’d like to be hopeful. But for now my forecast is no.

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Terrible Typography: Roofied, Not Ruffled

"6:05 p.m. Citizen Assist. Individual at Police Department wishing to talk to an officer regarding scam that is going around where people are passing out employment flyers and when girls show up for the interview, they are being ruffled and shipped off for prostitution." (Pacifica Tribune, June 17; from Pacifica Police Department Log on June 10)

As Alan Wald suggests in the comments on this thread, either the police department or the newspaper meant to say "ruffied," not "ruffled," possibly a reference to the date rape drugs known as "roofies." Or an even less sinister scenario is suggested by yours truly, who finds that the Tribune's typeface (font) may have contributed to the confusion. Click Comments below to follow this thread, and perhaps you will also discover how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Grammar School

Crayon box
After a hot editorial debate in our office about KQED-TV’s questionable on-air grammar (“KQED thanks our members”), I hesitate to throw another log on the fire, but today on the radio I heard a commercial that began: “Princess Cruises is celebrating our…” Please click the Comments link below to share your thoughts.