When you cover a local government, sometimes the elected officials say controversial things about prayer at public meetings that catch the attention of the folks over at Gawker. And then, they say those things again. And then the editorial board jumps on the bandwagon.
"If you are not asking yourself every couple of years how to once more scare yourself to death, then you are living something of the coward’s life. Ain’t no room for cowards in journalism at this moment in time."
"The lawn started at the beach and ran towards the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sundials and brick walks and burning gardens — finally when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the momentum of its run. The front was broken by a line of French windows, glowing now with reflected gold and wide open to the warm windy afternoon, and Tom Buchanan in riding clothes was standing with his legs apart on the front porch."
An excerpt from The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
'That’s how the former New York Times language guru Theodore M. Bernstein described overly fastidious rules and usage myths a grade-school English teacher might invoke to keep her pupils’ prose on a very narrow path.’
Thanks to Bernstein, I will continue to use “And” at the beginning of my sentences, only now it will be a guilt-free exercise.
"Handling obits and breaking news stories against deadline, the rewrite bank reveled in camaraderie. During lulls, when we weren’t on meal breaks or playing cards or working on outside writing projects, we analyzed the early edition—the stories deserving praise and those we deemed mediocre. And we griped about the latest petty edicts of the reigning editors.
What most earned our ire were the periodic cost-saving measures, particularly one about economizing on the soft-lead Ebony pencils we relied on for taking notes. This essential tool of our trade, we were informed by memo, was costly and must be rationed. To obtain a new pencil, a staffer had to turn in at least one-third of a used pencil to the city desk clerk. One night, when the clerk who kept all pencils locked in his desk drawer left early, our rewrite staff was confronted with a shortage.
By the time our shift ended, we were so infuriated that we rounded up every used pencil we could find—nineteen of them—grinding them down in the sharpener to stubs one inch long. We put all the stubs into an envelope, and addressed it to Frank Adams with a note signed by each of us: “We need twenty new pencils to replace these nineteen stubs. We regret that we lost the twentieth in the sharpener.” The pencil edict was revoked.”
An excerpt from City Room, a memoir by Arthur Gelb.