May 27 2008
06:27 am

From the front page of today's KNS local section. Anyway, congratulations to Lillie Young for making it to the national spelling bee.

talidapali's picture

When I read the paper or watch TV news...

I just have to shake my head and sigh. Supposedly the folks that work for newspapers and television stations have at least a high school education. Not that you could tell by the way they spell common words though.

If the people that bring us our news can't be bothered to hit the spell check function on their computer or at least have a dictionary at hand for bothersome words, then what hope do we have that students will see any benefit in getting things right?

"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"
"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

Pam Strickland's picture

Actually a copy editor, the

Actually a copy editor, the folks who write the headlines, have at least a bachelor's degree. These days it is very, very rare for someone who works at a city daily to be there without college. J-PROF might have some statistics, but I know maybe two people off the top of my head who have newsroom jobs and don't have a bachelor's degree. Many also have a master's.

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

Mark Harmon's picture

Alternate idea

Perhaps the Strait-A student would be a good entrant in a geography bee.

Mark Harmon

Jake Jost's picture

Strait wouldn't be caught by

Strait wouldn't be caught by spell-check. It's a word, too. (Gibraltar, Bering, etc?)

The day I can avoid making any mistakes will be a great one. I haven't had one yet, and I somewhat doubt any of the other folks making comments have. It's a silly mistake and troublingly high-profile, but the FSM would likely consider it a mitzvah for you to cut him or her some slack.

Pam Strickland's picture

True, but good journalists

True, but good journalists don't rely on the spellcheck alone. Plus, at least one if not two people should have seen that headline before it hit the press. There are mistakes in newspapers and blogs and newsletters all the time, but that doesn't mean we should be lackadaisical about them.

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

Rachel's picture

I'm kinda wondering if it

I'm kinda wondering if it wasn't somebody's idea of a joke.

R. Neal's picture

I wondered if it was a joke,

I wondered if it was a joke, too, and red (heh) the article three times looking for the setup. The fact that they fixed it online (it was the same as the print version early this AM) suggests not.

It's not a huge deal. You can spot misteaks (heh) in the paper just about every day. It was the context of the story that made this one funny and newsworthy.

At least it wasn't a whopper like this one.

Jake Jost's picture

There's quite a difference

There's quite a difference between a) insisting that someone clearly doesn't have an education or is a hack because of a simple error and b) expecting quality and due caution in your reporting. The first is, well, being kind of a jerk. The second is being a judicious consumer.

I assure you that, when a mistake is made, any journalist worth their salt kicks themselves twice as hard as you ever could. Having a laugh in a funny situation is perfectly appropriate, but there's a line between that and piling on.

Pam Strickland's picture

Mr. Jost, I have a mass comm

Mr. Jost,

I have a mass comm degree and spent more than a decade as a daily journalist. And I've worked in public relations and as a freelance writer/editor. Plus I've taught writing and journalism.

I know about that kicking of which you speak. I've had to do it once or twice. I didn't do a from your post, but I will cop to b.

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

Jake Jost's picture

I'll agree with your

I'll agree with your assessment of a and b. However, I expect you'd agree with me that the post I replied to (maybe not apparent from the threading--Talidapali's) was all about the a.

No questioning of your cred was intended.

Pam Strickland's picture

You're right that I wasn't

You're right that I wasn't sure what post you were responding to.

In peace,
Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

knoxvegas99's picture

Perhaps the Strait-A student

Perhaps the Strait-A student would be a good entrant in a geography bee.

Painful pun, Mark. (But delicious!)

Larry Van Guilder

redmondkr's picture

He always spells Kow with a large K.

It's funny. I've noticed here that posters who generally agree with our positions on the matter du jour, are forgiven little eccentricities when they rattle the keyboard. I, for one, just think,"Bless his/her heart, (s)he's in a hurry and we did at least get the gist of that statement."

Ah, but the trolls. I'm one of the worst to give them what for when they don't dot their T's and cross their I's.

And I freely admit that my grammar is at times similar to that of Dave Gardner who once said, "I know my grammar ain't too good, but it's communicable."

I don't see any use in having a uniform and arbitrary way of spelling words. We might as well make all clothes alike and cook all dishes alike. Sameness is tiresome; variety is pleasing. I have a correspondent whose letters are always a refreshment to me, there is such a breezy unfettered originality about his orthography. He always spells Kow with a large K. Now that is just as good as to spell it with a small one. It is better. It gives the imagination a broader field, a wider scope. It suggests to the mind a grand, vague, impressive new kind of a cow. - Mark Twain in a speech at a spelling match, Hartford, Connecticut, May 12, 1875. Reported in the Hartford Courant, May 13, 1875

and this:

...simplified spelling is all right, but, like chastity, you can carry it too far. - Mark Twain - The Alphabet and Simplified Spelling speech, December 9, 1907

Visit us at

The Home

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is used to make sure you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.


TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

State .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Monthly archive