Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Almost the Same Isn't the Same

Vencie Gondolier's features page today is largely "correspondent" Francine Milford's piece describing a local marathon runner as a "retired New York policeman." In fact, there's no such thing as a New York policeman, retired or otherwise. Police are municipal employees. Milford apparently doesn't know that New York is a state, not a municipality.

Her subject is a retired Colonie, N.Y., policeman. Colonie is a municipality -- a town. Does it matter? Only to those who care about accuracy in journalism. Milford doesn't. Her editors didn't. Well, we do.

We also care about a well-written sentence, so it's always amusing -- in a painful kind of way -- to turn to Lake Placid's Journal Editor, George Duncan, for his unique syntax, spelling and punctuation. When Duncan writes about literacy, his typos, errors, and fundamental mistakes add an amusing layer of irony:

Literacy Week will continue until Jan. 28 and to celebrate students at the Lake Placid High School are being challenged to read one (or more) out of five books offered in this pro-reading week. ...

"October Sky” is the true story of a West Virginia boy who grew up to become NASA scientist and has been made into a movie. ...

In “Generation Dead,” high school students die but come back to life and become a unique branch of humanity, and is meant as a take of tolerance. ...

" ... Domino’s have been gracious enough to donate the pizzas ..."

" ... Teaching a work of literatrue ..."

" ... the revision of Mark Twain classic book "Huckleberry Finn."

George, "Huckleberry Finn" is not the book's correct title! Elsewhere in the story you refer to a football as "oval shaped." No, not so.)

The headline says that students will participate in literacy week. We hope the newspaper editors consider participating, as well.

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