Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A "Gator Golden" in Maine?

"Me? A Gator? You must be nuts!"

I was sitting here Monday reading over the post. That’s an occurrence that happens daily (when I post my thoughts). I do have a great friend, you know him as “My Fearless Friend,” who also critically reads my posts to check my spelling and punctuation. He also looks over my sentence structure to see if what I’m writing is generally understandable.

When he notices an error, which is somewhat frequently, he only comments on the structure, rarely, if ever, on the content. He may agree or disagree with me when we are together of various issues and he sometimes even sends me an e-mail concerning ways I might have strengthened my comments. He continues his ‘editing’ simply because he knows that necessary corrections will be made quickly.

This really doesn’t have much to do with anything, except, as an old-time journalist who was taught at the University of Florida that correct English and syntax was critical to a story and to the ease of its understanding, I strive to continue that use of the language. We were also taught that including both sides of a story was absolute. Any papers we turned in without correct English was an automatic failure. Incorrect spelling was one of the biggest no-no’s. My professors wouldn’t even read past such a mistake.

Unfortunately for today’s journalists, H. G. “Buddy” Davis and Hugh Cunningham retired from their positions years ago. Prof. Davis, a Pulitzer Award-winning writer himself, was my advisor. From what I’ve seen from our modern journalists, the strong standards that were once taught at journalism schools throughout the nation are no longer emphasized.

This is a blog but you rarely will find, I hope, grammar or spelling mistakes. But they do occur. My sentence structure isn’t always correct, but when it varies from the standard, such as using sentence fragments which I use often, those variances are always by design.

I learned early on that editing one’s own ‘perfect’ writing is extremely difficult. After all, the writer has already written what he thought was correct. That’s why I’m always happy when my Fearless Friend points out something he thinks I might want to revisit.

When I started this ramble, I had something totally different in mind. The huge majority of the pictures I include, when I include pictures, are of a precious, six-year-old Golden Retriever, Gator Golden. That’s not her real name, but she doesn’t care. She’ll start wiggling all over when she detects either Gator Wife or my talking to or about her and we probably have a hundred names we call her.

She has an enormous vocabulary and GW and I frequently have a hard time keeping things from her and have even resorted to spelling certain words. That doesn’t work much anymore, either. She also has learned to communicate her wants to us as well.

I suspect the owners of all dogs feel about the same way about their pets, although ‘pets’ isn’t a correct name for the animals. They are family members. I’ve never owned anything other than dogs, but I’d bet owners of other types of pets feel about the same way as I.

The pictures, however, are not of Florida alligators. The thought that entered my mind as I was sitting here reading over Monday’s post was perhaps I should consider a name more symbolic of what is frequently a major part of this blog. “A Golden in Maine” certainly wouldn’t do as there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of the animals in this state. (There are a whole lot of Gators here, too.)

It’s a thought I’ll have to mull for a while.

And how about that umpiring crew in the ALCS last night???


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