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.
Fellow literati Peter Loeb is repelled by bad English. Recently, he read a Pacifica Patch/Bay City News Service story about rescuers saving a stranded hiker by “repelling” down a Pacifica cliff. Evidently, these media rely on a spellchecker and don’t know the difference between “repel” and “rappel.” Unfortunately, this kind of sloppy writing and editing has become an epidemic in publishing, journalism, and society at large. When we let our computers do our thinking for us, we are lost. Game over, man.
We urge all Coastsiders to contact new San Francisco Chronicle editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper and ask her to assign investigative reporters to dig into the Caltrans/SMCTA highway-widening fiasco, a much underreported story in the media over the hill. It's about time a major metro daily newspaper began paying attention to Coastside transportation issues other than "feel good" features about the Devil's Slide Tunnels. If Caltrans screwed the pooch on the Bay Bridge eastern span, what can we expect with its ridiculous highway-widening plan here? We have a need to know.
Riptide features pretty good writing, but we always welcome your news and opinions. We also need original art: photography, cartoons (humorous and/or political), graphic art, drawings, etc. Click the "Email Me" link at the top of our right sidebar and send your .jpg, .pdf, or .png files. You won't make a dime here, but you will be famous in your own lifetime.
What is going on over at the Pacifica Tribune? Is anyone performing the most basic copyediting anymore? It's painful to read Horace Hinshaw's own columns. He's the editor of the paper, for crying out loud! Does he even read his own submissions?
From Horace's latest "The way I see it" column, December 10-16, 2014: "Tonight we'll have changing of the guard...
“Tonight?” I guess if you happened to read this on the correct day, it would be "tonight." The piece was posted online December 9 at 5 p.m. I hope you didn't show up to Council Chambers then. No event date was provided anywhere in the piece, nor was there an article anywhere in the paper about the event to glean a date from. If you read Horace's piece on Thursday or Friday, well, "tonight" has long since passed you by. (The reorganization is on Wednesday, December 10 at 7 p.m., by the way.)
"...when we introduce a new Mayor."
Who is "we"? "We” aren’t introducing anyone, but the newly seated council will elect a new mayor on December 10, and perhaps that newly elected mayor will introduce herself or himself to us.
"Mayor pro tem Karen Ervin will move up one chair to assume the role, taking over from current Mayor Mary Ann Nihart."
Isn’t this declaration a bit premature, since it's predicated on an election that hasn't happened yet? Yes, Ervin is the odds-on favorite, but until the vote actually happens, it's not a done deal, and stranger things have happened. She may not even want the position. Who knows?
"We'll lost one councilmember while welcoming a new one."
C’mon, man, this is just terrible writing.
"Mr. Keener was very outspoken on the Highway 1wideing issue during his candidacy run for the council."
What the hell? How does a sentence like this get published? 1wideing?! And what does a “candidacy run for the council” mean? Horace, you've got to get your "stuff" together and read what you're publishing every week under your name.
Dear Riptide Editor: Did you happen to notice the unusually ugly "Fall Colors" photo at the top of the November 19 Pacifica Tribune editorial page? For one thing, it was printed in black and white, so there were no fall colors, unless you consider ash gray a color. For another, perhaps because of the lack of actual color, you could not tell what the picture showed. Was it a tree or was it some dog's dinner?
November 5, 2014, Pacifica Tribune: "DEAR READERS—Thanks for all your letters to the editor during the past month. I appreciate your support more than I can say. To my friends who urged me not to return here as a matter of principle, I hope you understand that I value this column as an opportunity to be an alternative voice in the newspaper. In the final analysis, I decided that was the greater good. I won’t bore you with any Alice in Wonderland metaphors (down the rabbit hole, Mad Hatter’s tea party, etc.), but suffice it to say that this long, strange suspension was no fun. I missed writing my column and getting your emails. One good thing about the time away was that I had a chance to do more blogging on Pacifica Riptide. You are always welcome to visit us there online and see what our motley crew of writers, photographers, and rabble-rousers is up to. Meanwhile, welcome back to Wandering & Wondering. Let’s continue to celebrate free speech, freedom of the press, and the San Francisco Giants huge World Series victory."
In early October, Pacifica Tribune interim editor Horace Hinshaw said he had "decided to suspend the column indefinitely" (my weekly "Wandering & Wondering"), and would not discuss the matter until after the election "to avoid any controversy."
In his October 15 "Editor's corner" in the Tribune, Hinshaw wrote: "The suspension of John Maybury's Wandering and Wondering column has sent a flurry of letters to me, requesting the reinstatement of his column. John's supporters are under the impression that he would not return as a weekly contributor to the Tribune. That was not the intent. In my discussion with Mr. Maybury I told him we would re-visit a time for him to return after the Nov. 4 election. However, with the misunderstanding -- and it's probably because of the word 'indefinitely' being used instead of saying 'after Nov. 4' in my statement last week -- I want to defuse this matter now. Mr. Maybury has the opportunity to resume writing his weekly column on Wednesday, Nov. 5." (Editor's corner)
On October 15 and 22, the Tribune editorial pages ran several protest letters. Several other letters that we know of were submitted to the Tribune but never appeared in the newspaper, though at least one appeared on the Tribune website. Some of those "missing" letters are archived here on Riptide in the Comments thread below this post.
Hinshaw wrote in an editor's note October 15: "There have been some internal production changes at the Tribune and it may be that the cyperspace [sic] thief got their hands on them."
As a freelance writer contributing my column to the Tribune for the past 15 years (formerly with pay, but now unpaid), I have no contract. Nevertheless, I protested this unfair suspension of my column during the election season. I did nothing wrong to deserve suspension.
My personal endorsement of City Council candidate John Keener appeared in a full-page ad that Keener paid for and Hinshaw accepted and published in the Tribune's Coastal Connections supplement, and also on a Keener campaign mailer. The ad and mailer simply said "John Maybury, Pacifica Riptide and Tribune" (as is often done on campaign literature for identification purposes only), not implying that the Tribune endorsed Keener.
More important, I did not endorse ANYONE in my column itself. John Keener and I made this very clear in subsequent letters to the editor, but to no avail. So the suspension ran full term until November 5, at which point my column was reinstated.
Letter to the editor, Pacifica Tribune, October 8, 2014: As a freelance newspaper columnist ("Wandering and Wondering"), I do not speak for the Pacifica Tribune when I endorse John Keener for Pacifica City Council. That is my own personal opinion. (John Maybury, Moss Beach) — Editor's Note: In an endorsement publication for John Keener, Mr. Maybury was listed as a writer for the Tribune, implying that the Tribune is endorsing Mr. Keener. Mr. Maybury is not employed by the Tribune, but rather is a freelance contributor. The Tribune does not endorse any candidate for City Council. To avoid any controversy, Mr. Maybury's column has been suspended indefinitely.