For what it’s worth, 06/01/16


I’ve been awol. Shame on me. Shame on me also for writing awol instead of AWOL, which is AP Style. And since I’m writing this on June 1, 2016, let’s note that a brand new AP Stylebook came out today.

Remember when we had to capitalize Internet? Now it’s internet.

Remember when we had to capitalize Web? Now it’s web.

A few others, according to my email (which used to be e-mail once, but the times they do change) from the AP:

  • 50 new and updated technology terms, including emojiemoticon and metadata
  • 36 new and updated food terms, from arctic char to whisky/whiskey, and eight new and updated fashion terms, including normcore and Uniqlo
  • New guidance on the terms marijuanacannabis and potcross dresser and transvestite; accident and crash; notorious and notoriety 

Not very long ago, AP used to insist on hyphenating “teen-ager.” I hated that and told my team that we would use “teenager,” one word, no hyphen, because …


Then one day I was reading the AP wire and discovered a story that used the word “teenager.” And then I found another. And then I called a couple of guys I used to work with who were now with the AP and I asked what the deal was with that, and neither of them had a clue that the AP had changed its style from hyphen to no-hyphen. So here I was, informing AP editors of their new style.

Things like this keep us up at night. Fortunately, there’s base-ball. Unfortunately, that person with his hands on his knees way behind second base is still the center fielder. Why not centerfielder? Just because.




Mad about Mad

It’s been a long time since I read MAD Magazine. But I may just have to return to one of the joys of my teenagerhood. (Teen-agerhood? Teen-ager-hood?) Or at least start paying attention again to the covers. Here’s the latest:





They alive, dammit!

If you’re not a fan of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt … Why the hell not?

But if you are, you’ll understand why this picture of a migrant reaching shore, which was featured in an email I got from VOX, grabbed my immediate attention:


It’s a miracle.




The sound of dueling banjos

The headline reads: Father who had daughter marry her rapist sentenced to jail.

That’s the good news. It goes downhill from there.

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho man will spend about four months in jail for taking his pregnant 14-year-old daughter to Missouri and having her marry a 24-year-old family friend who had raped her.

The father pleaded guilty to injury to a child last week, and a judge put him behind bars for 120 days and ordered three years of supervised probation, the Idaho State Journal reported.

“I would note that the 120 days is approximately how long this vile farce of a marriage lasted,” Seventh District Judge Gregory Moeller told him at the sentencing. “While you sit in jail, you will sit and think about the 120 days your daughter was in a vile farce of a marriage to a rapist because of you.”

The girl’s father said he believed that a man should marry a girl he gets pregnant….

During his sentencing hearing, the girl’s father told the judge that he loved his daughter and would never intentionally harm her. The father acknowledged making a bad decision.

Gorillas in our midst

Hey, I love the gorilla exhibit, too. Those big apes are magnificent. Truly captivating … until you’re a 4-year-old captive. When that happens, you don’t start debating the parentworthiness of the kid’s mom … or whether the zoo meets standards to separate the watchers from the watchees. Or whether you can tranquilize a gorilla whose biceps are six times the size of the kid’s head.

No. When that happens, you do everything possible to keep a 4-year-old kid from getting killed. Because no matter how gentle that gorilla seems, he’s still a gorilla, and he doesn’t know his own strength. Look at that chest. Look at those shoulders. He could gently snap that child in half.

So, please, stop wringing your hands over that poor gorilla. When saving the life of a 4-year-old boy means killing a gorilla, you do it. And fast.

How on earth can there be any question about this? Can you imagine being the parent of a 4-year-old who manages to get into the gorilla exhibit, and seeing him being dragged around by a 400-pound “gentle” gorilla, and then having the authorities tell you that your kid may have to die because we don’t want to kill the gorilla to save him?

Really? Did you ever have kids? Did nothing bad ever happen, despite your best intentions?

The gorilla died. That’s a shame, and there’s no feeling good about that. But I’ll take a dead gorilla over a dead child anytime.




David Who?


Raise your hand if you know who this guy is.

That’s what I thought.

— 30 —

5 thoughts on “For what it’s worth, 06/01/16

  1. Yes. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Would not have known about that series or even gone looking except for a brief remark overheard at a local bar. Looked it up on the spot using my smartphone (yeah, I know, I’m one of those), and now binge watching by myself on TV number two. Cannot get my spouse interested. She watches local channel 5 and CNN only unless I take control of TV number one using her precious clicker. I try not to offend her sense of order unless it’s urgent…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s