A Pair of Problems

This is not one of the “Pair” alluded to:  I am lobbying for a change (thanks in good part to “Lolly”) to the title of this Site from what it’s been, most of the time, to “Getting a Better Grip on  Speaking and Writing.”

This is not one of the “Pair” either:  let’s plan to break our fast this upcoming Friday at Zorba’s Gyros on Raeford Road,  across the street from and not too far from,  the renowned “Harris-Teeter”  grocery story.  8:30 approx.

This is also not part of the “Pair,” but it is a preface.  Today I read Tamara Netzel’s (Ms. Netzel is a National Board Certified teacher at Albritton Junior High School on Fort Bragg) column,  part of her Tips for Parents series.  It is titled “We’re dropping the ball on youth literacy,”  and it makes some pretty strong arguments that young scholars need to read and be read to.  Much ground is being lost in the literacy effort because our children are gaming, watching, texting, and tweeting and being increasingly careless about the necessary tools and tactics to be a “literate” person.   Ms. Netzel attests to the decline in literacy in recent years.  She believes adult literates in Cumberland County are approaching a 25% rate.

Now for a “Pair of Problems” that appeared in today’s newspaper (October 31).  As a Blog reader noted recently,  copy editing is no longer practiced as much or as well as it once was.  Here are two problems to you to study and then seek to fix up:

(1)  In a sports column:  “What is missing [from the Davey O’Brien Award for the nation’s top quarterback] are some ACC quarterbacks whose credentials could, and in many minds,  should have qualified them for that list.”  [Hint: the solution is simple, but helpful.]

(2) In a “Coming Sunday”  advert [that is a word now, no?] headed “Discontent at the VA hospital”:  “Workers and patients at the Fayetteville Veterans  Affairs Medical Center rate the hospital lower than their counterparts throughout the region.”

Enjoy.  Suffer.

RJR

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14 Responses to “A Pair of Problems”

  1. Tom Says:

    (1) What are missing
    (2)within???instead of throughout???

  2. Tammy Stephens Says:

    I’ll be there Friday.

    1) What is missing is?
    2) have rated?

  3. Frank B Maness,Jr. Says:

    Can I skip the first one and question the word “at” in the second statement?
    Looking back to number one, maybe the word “should” could have been used instead of could!!

  4. CC Says:

    The VA hospital in general need to be restructured. They act as if they are doing you a favor to give you medical care! I could tell you some horror stories. But I get too upset just thinking about some of the goings on out there.

  5. Disgusted Says:

    Here’s my guess for 2:

    Workers and patients “in” the Veterans Affairs Medial Center —-

  6. Lolly Says:

    IIt should be “lower than ITS counterparts throughout the region.”

    They are saying that this hospital is worse than other hospitals its counterparts), not worse than employees at other hospitals (their counterparts).

  7. Jeff Thompson Says:

    Without looking at the above responses, I’ll give it a go:

    (1) In a sports column: “What is missing [from the Davey O’Brien Award for the nation’s top quarterback] are some ACC quarterbacks whose credentials could, and in many minds, should have qualified them for that list.” [Hint: the solution is simple, but helpful.]

    I’d say the first two words “What is” should have been left out so that the sentence would have begun with “Missing are some…”

    (2) In a “Coming Sunday” advert [that is a word now, no?] headed “Discontent at the VA hospital”: “Workers and patients at the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center rate the hospital lower than their counterparts throughout the region.”

    In #2, the close quotation in the headline should have been outside the colon.

  8. D. Says:

    (1) In a sports column: “What is missing [from the Davey O’Brien Award for the nation’s top quarterback] are some ACC quarterbacks whose credentials could, and in many minds, should have qualified them for that list.” [Hint: the solution is simple, but helpful.]

    Shouldn’t it have been “What ARE missing…” as it is referring to “some ACC quarterbacks” instead of one quarterback as “What IS” is singular instead of plural?

    (2) In a “Coming Sunday” advert [that is a word now, no?] headed “Discontent at the VA hospital”: “Workers and patients at the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center rate the hospital lower than their counterparts throughout the region.”

    I agree with Jeff Thompson:
    In #2, the close quotation in the headline should have been outside the colon.

  9. Lolly Says:

    The colon wasn’t even part of the headline. It was RR’s addition.

  10. Forest Crump Says:

    What are missing are some ACC quarterbacks…

    “Workers and patients at the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center rate the (VA) hospital lower than (other hospitals in) the region.”

    What I am wondering is what is their experience with other hospitals in the region?

    When teaching school I thought that it was stupid for teachers to vote for teacher of the year, we don’t see each other teach. “The students should vote for teacher of the year,” I said in a meeting one day.

    I was refrained by, “That will just make it a popularity contest.”

    “And what we are doing is not?” I rhetorically responded.

    I could never be an editor.

    My new girlfriend Cliché and I, good lord willing and the creek don’t rise, will be there Friday.

  11. Raymond Rundus Says:

    Three comments:
    (1) I am not a blueblooded or infallible copy editor either. I had noticed that, in my observations about Tamara Netzel’s concerns in her column about the problems with Cumberland County adult readers, I had erroneously entered “literates” instead of “illiterates.” None of you caught that?!
    Comfortingly: I often seem to have a knack for similar mishaps. If I THINK AND VISUALIZE that I will do something, that very act seems to signal my brain that I have already done it.
    You have to be perhaps “of a certain age” to engage in such mental acrobatics as these and still not fall on your keister.

    (2) About the second of the problems: “Lolly” has nailed it. There is a great difference in the meaning of the notice if “their” is misused for “its.” And I believe the latter does established the position that
    the hospital is the subject of concern, not the workers and patients in the area’s hospitals. (I.e., watch those pronouns!)

    (2) In reference to the sentence at issue in the first problem: The simple and correct change is to move the comma to its proper position, which is after, not before “should.” Note that its use is parallel to the comma after a similar verb a few words earlier; that is, “could.” Corrected then: “What is missing are some ACC quarterbacks whose credentials could, and in many people’s minds[] should[,] have qualified them for the list.”
    *As punctuation marks are also often helpful in reading a text aloud, you ought to notice that the pause is more correctly placed where I now have it.

    Keep on keeping on. We will all look forward, Forest Crump, to meeting your new lady friend on Friday. I am intrigued by her first name . . . . Better than “legion,” I would assert. Har.

    RJR

    *If there was one well-known editor who had a love affair with the comma, it was the founder and first editor of “The New Yorker,” Harold Ross. He liberally added or moved these around as he edited the submissions of contributors. So much so that one of his victims send him a Christmas card with multitudes of commas enclosed, to use as he wished.

  12. Marshall Faircloth Says:

    Perfesser: I don’t know if everyone will ‘get’ the ‘legion’ allusion to a story in Mark’s gospel where the demons were cast out and entered the swine’s bodies.

  13. Frank B Maness,Jr. Says:

    Is that were ” Pig Out” got it’s start!!

  14. Raymond Rundus Says:

    Thanks for the uptick, Marshall, on the Biblical context of “legion.”

    Did I done write “does established” in my previous comment? Appears as I has did so.

    Best wishes to all “Blog Buddies” for tomorrow’s election!

    Friday morning about 8:30 we will have a good time at Zorba’s Gyros on Raeford Road. The “Zorba’s” now in Hope Mills is underway for several months now and doing well. We’ve tried it once and shall return.

    Here’s what Gussie Ammons, who reached 101 on October 7, was quoted as saying in the “Observer” about the secrets to living a long life: “Trusting in the Lord, living the good life and not being mean to nobody.”
    Now there’s somebody who knows better than anybody how to properly use a “double negative.”

    RJR

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