Lynn Ashby’s Aug. 4 invective about Houston’s major daily newspaper’s failure to figure out his address change following Hurricane Harvey was interesting and indicative. Around mid-July, that paper’s business columnist lamented the dying daily print newspaper trade, citing online competition and implying that the people of Houston just aren’t fulfilling their obligation to support our daily paper. More than 125 online reader responses, illuminating reasons for the paper’s demise, generally fell into three categories: 1) Reportage slant/bias, 2) Poor writing quality and 3) Lousy delivery service/response.
While Harvey’s disruption for the latter was understandable, the paper’s subsequent help-desk incompetence cited by Ashby was inexcusable for a fee-charging enterprise. Harvey aside, a recurrent reader complaint involved paying for “subscriptions that don’t arrive.” One noted that the USPS, UPS and FEDEX had no trouble whatever finding him, but that very newspaper’s distribution personnel evidently could not.
Readers pointed out that the paper’s writers commit grammar and spelling errors regularly — but fish rots from the head, and those shortcomings reveal editor ineptitude. Perhaps the editors’ minds are more energetically focused elsewhere, which leads us to…
Criticism of reportage bias was vehement, noting how the most negative slant possible is consistently employed vis-a-vis the political ideology and elected politicians the paper opposes — and is an insult to a great many of the paper’s consumers. (A nationally famous pundit accurately observed that today’s mainstream media is America’s only business in which “the customer is always wrong.”) Editorial subjectivity is expected of a paper, but newswriting objectivity is evaporating with the past, ever receding to the agendas of advocacy, spin and loaded-questioning gotcha.
They’re getting their words wrong there
I just can’t resist! I know the Aug. 4 editorial was aimed more at spelling, but that goes hand-in-hand with grammar.
Regarding your sentence “Here’s what makes English so difficult, which may help my wife and I better teach our children,” I learned along about 5th grade that “I” is a subject and “me” is an object. Leave out “my wife” and you have “help I better teach our children.” At least you didn’t say “myself,” which has become the common substitute for “me.”
Don’t know why I, me, and myself are so difficult for people to sort out!
I am a relative newcomer to the Heights and enjoy reading The Leader immensely…love the local tidbits.
Eye enjaye you’re artical sew muchist. Eye laughfed till eye could’ve dyed.
My grandson (1st grader) sayed too his sister onced (with a straight face at the dinner table after she snatched a shrimp off his plate) “You’re the mostest horriblestis person in the world I ever meeted.”
Throw in the blends, digraphs, diphthongs, idioms, axioms, ole sayings, double entendre, colloquialisms, antonyms, synonyms, syllogisms, let’s not forget the split infinitive, and not to mention the myriad definitions and alternate spellings for words, etc, etc, it all leaves me to wonder if I ever communicate anything effectively and, oh yea, how are the techies gonna deal with all this in the ever invading world of AI? Just sayin…u no? (Oh, I forgot texting and mixed languages, e.g. spanglish.)
(PS-My granddaughter enjoyed your camp last year and she was looking forward to it again this year but I never saw any advanced announcement of it in the Leader. Do you plan to do it next year?)
I love to watch football on TV. but unfortunately there is one mistake that repeatedly happens during every football season. You will hear a coach brag about how good his team has played or how good one of his players has played. Football players do not play “good.” A coach can have a good (adjective) football team, but only if his players play well (adverb).”
In the last Leader you told about being corrected for spelling “stationery” incorrectly as “stationary.” In your article you made the following statement: “Hank didn’t sleeped good, he obviously slept good.” No, Hank didn’t. Hank slept well.
My daughter has commented so many times about how I taught her the above. I only wish that football coaches could learn the same.