Thursday, March 5, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

To err is human – but not in print

stevenson column sig 2

By
From page A11 | August 01, 2014 |

OK, I’ll admit it. I read five newspapers every day, starting the morning with, of course, the Daily Republic.

I have the famous remark attributed to Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens) stuck in the recesses of my mind. To paraphrase, more or less, “I read the obituaries first when I open the morning paper, to see if my name is in it.” Well, I do read this newspaper’s obituaries every day, and once every 10 years, I say “good” to myself when I see a particular announcement.

When I eventually can’t defy gravity, I do expect a full memorial at City Hall, complete with a mournful bagpipe band and a crowd of thousands wearing black armbands. But keep the speeches down to less than 20 minutes.

OK, enough about me, as Bette Midler said, now let’s talk about me. One of my great pleasures when I read newspapers is spotting what I think are unclear, or inaccurate, headlines. Years ago, before the Ice Age and the dawn of the Internet, if you wanted to “correct, criticize, or compliment” the editor, you actually had to pick up pen and paper, write your thoughts down, fold the letter, put it in an envelope, address it, put a stamp on it and walk with the letter to your mailbox. The chances of a metropolitan newspaper like The New York Times or the San Francisco Chronicle running your letter were about one in a zillion.

These days, with the availability of the Internet, writing a letter to the editor, unless it’s your community newspaper, may satisfy your inner critic and take only a minute or two, but you will look hopefully at the opinion page, only to be disappointed day after day.

That’s by way of introduction to my only attempt in many years to criticize the Chronicle for a headline, this one in their Sporting Green. See what you think: There was a photo of new 49ers running back Carlos Hyde, with the headline, “Injuries put rookie in a vital new role.” My first and genuine reaction was, “How can someone coming aboard the team with multiple injuries take over from veteran running back Frank Gore?” As I read the story, I realized the “injuries” in the headline were not to Carlos Hyde, but to other running backs in the 49ers backfield.

Now the headline made sense. But my momentary confusion forced me to send an email to the editor, accusing him of poor editing. I even suggested in my email that now that the 49ers had recruited a Mr. Hyde, were they looking for a quarterback named Dr. Jekyll? Yeah, I know, how arrogant of me.

Many years ago, almost 60, the example of a confusing headline was about a visitor to New York City who said: “Walking down Fifth Avenue, the Empire State Building looked bigger than I remembered.” All right, students, why is that sentence confusing? It’s all about a dangling participle, which many of us giggled at, and to this day, “dangling participle” is stuck in my devious mind. The sentence should have perhaps read, “As I walked down Fifth Avenue, the Empire State Building looked bigger than I remembered.”

I guess I’m a fine one to talk, since editors of this newspaper have saved me from various usage, definition and grammatical errors over the years. I admit I’m not perfect, but I expect others to be.

Bud Stevenson, a retired stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • BaseballmomAugust 01, 2014 - 7:25 am

    Wow! I would have loved seeing the Empire State Building walking down Fifth Avenue. ;-)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JimboAugust 01, 2014 - 11:19 am

    All the 'news' sources got cheap and outsourced fact-checking to invisible chinese labor. Apparently is is much cheaper for them to write a retraction is anyone notices and says something about it. News you can 'trust' HA!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Docs: No significant impact from tons of SF waste sent to Solano

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Suisun residents not happy with proposed water rate hikes

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Show resilience in the face of adversity

    By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

     
    Police arrest trio from Martinez in Vacaville

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

    Real McCoy II Ferry set for maintenance

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

     
    Vacaville police slate annual awards ceremony

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

    Limited damage to apartment from carport fire

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Students sample industry choices during school career fair

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Car burglaries lead to Vacaville man’s arrest

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

     
    National Red Cross Month celebrates heroes

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Il Fiorello schedules citrus class

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Jury convicts ex-con who served as own lawyer

    By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

     
    Red Carpet Gala to benefit theater foundation

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

    Pet remembrance event set in Vallejo

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

     
    Suisun police plan community meeting downtown

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

    Friday concert benefits Families Helping Families

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield OKs $54,467 consultant pact after the fact

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

    Vallejo police arrest 4 in connection with 3 killings

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

     
    Suisun City police log: Tuesday, March 3, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Fairfield police log: Tuesday, March 3, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    .

    US / World

    Woodland mom charged with manslaughter in death of infant

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Justices sharply divided over health care law subsidies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    ‘It was him': Defense admits Tsarnaev bombed Boston Marathon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    More mutilated animals found in California’s capital city

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    California lawmaker pushes child care worker vaccinations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Children in Southern California breathing easier, study says

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Failures by 3 governments preceded homeless man’s death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Second Los Angeles hospital reports ‘superbug’ infections

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Obama signs Homeland Security funding bill into law

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    House panel issues subpoena for Clinton’s personal emails

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Fossil jaw sheds light on turning point in human evolution

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Feds: Evidence backs Ferguson officer’s account in shooting

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    A defiant Alabama regains ground against gay marriage

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    How much sugar is in that? 7 foods with added sugar

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Senate fails to override Obama’s veto of pipeline bill

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Microsoft co-founder says he found sunken Japan WWII warship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Italy rescues more than 1,000 migrants at sea; 10 perish

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Coal mine blast kills at least 24 in war-torn east Ukraine

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    .

    Opinion

     
    Headwinds at home drive Korea Inc. abroad

    By William Pesek | From Page: A7

    How can I be sick when I feel great?

    By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: March 5, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: March 5, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: March 5, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

     
    I can’t tell if I still want to be married, or just don’t want to be alone

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    Glen Campbell children fighting wife’s control of affairs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    DiCaprio partners with Netflix for series of documentaries

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ tops MTV Movie Awards nominations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Sports

     
    Posey has 2-run double in Giants’ 9-2 loss to A’s

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Local report: Vanden softball slips by Rodriguez with late run

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

    Curry shoots Warriors to 102-93 victory over Bucks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    MLS, players agree in principle to 5-year deal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Prosecutors can’t bring up Florida shooting in ex-NFLer case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Vikings agree to trade Cassel to Bills

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Scott opens a season of change at Doral

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    ‘It WAS him': Defense admits Tsarnaev bombed Boston Marathon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    With Peterson’s status in question, Vikings pay a visit

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    NFL stadium supporters in LA suburb file ballot paperwork

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Alex Johnson, AL batting champ in 1970, dies at age 72

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Goodell: NFL responsible for Super Bowl seating problems

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Former player Nate Jackson calls for NFL to allow marijuana

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Phoenix to install tire barriers before NASCAR visit

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Pirelli sticks with same tire choices for first 4 F1 races

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    AP Source: Peyton Manning returning for 18th NFL season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    NCAA reports big jump in home runs with new flat-seam ball

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Aaron D. Malave

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Thelma A. Roche

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Cesar Luis Garcia-Regalado

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Rodolfo Landabora Porquez

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9