Oh, ‘whine, bitch, moan…’ just write us a letter, why don’tcha…

Hey, since I am no longer with the MSM, I don’t have to listen to your whining, bitching and moaning about us.

So it is that I don’t have to be diplomatic, and can now answer your feeble complaints with the full disdain that characterizes the finest traditions of the MSM.

Such as when our valued friend Kathryn brought our attention (see how easily I slip back into the royal, editorial first-person plural?)  to this article, headlined “Journalism monopoly was also a market failure,” and particularly this passage:

“If your neighborhood or community or issue didn’t interest the newspaper, it might as well have been banned from the community agenda. And if you had something to say, and wanted the community to hear or read it, your options were to pray you could get a letter to the editor published, or an even-rarer Op-Ed piece, or put out fliers around town. “

Added Kathryn, who passionately cares about Columbia and is always getting involved up to her elbows in the nitty-gritty of community issues, “I found this to be true, far too often…”

Oh, yeah? Well, now hear this:

I’m sorry, but we in the MSM are too busy to care about your esoteric, narrow personal concern. If you’d like to hire a consultant who can write us a press release about it, sexing it up with great quotes and some cool graphics, and maybe work in Gamecocks football, we may put it in the queue. But keep it simple — left-right, liberal-conservative, whatever. Don’t confuse us with gradations of meaning. Stuff like that makes our heads spin like that girl in “The Exorcist” — yeah, the one who threw up the green pea soup.
Meanwhile, write us a letter. But keep it short. And include your full address and a daytime telephone number, a photocopy of a picture ID, at least, three references, and annotated supporting material to back up your assertions. And pick a number between one and 1,000, and we’ll let you know whether your number wins. If it doesn’t, we will grind your epistle up with the other 999 and turn it into compost, so that it will be useful to us.

12 thoughts on “Oh, ‘whine, bitch, moan…’ just write us a letter, why don’tcha…

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    I would respond more fully, but I am busy copying flyers to post around town. 😉

    I believe the word is better spelled “flyer,” not “flier,” but I’m not sure why that is.

  2. Michael P.

    Have I mentioned how much of a joy it is to be around someone who spends most of the time in a conversation correcting your grammar?

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    FWIW, I was not correcting grammar. I was speculating on proper spelling. Many words in English have multiple spellings. It’s such a fun, fluid language because of it.

    Reading comprehension is such an important skill, isn’t it?

  4. Michael P.

    Yes it is important, especially when you have the schoolmarm standing over you with her ruler.

  5. Burl Burlingame

    A flier is someone who flies. A flyer is an announcement printed “on the fly.”

    Now Brad, explain to the folks the difference between “flak” and “flack.”

  6. Brad

    Ah, yes, thank you, Mr. Burlingame…

    I love this one.

    A “flack” is a publicist or PR person. “Flak” is an abbreviation of the German “Fliegerabwehrkanone,” which is one of those wonderful run-on, compound German words that means “anti-aircraft gun,” or more literally, “Aeroplane Defence Cannon.”

    It entered the language via American FLIERS in the war who were subjected to it. They used it, however, less to refer to the gun itself but to the deadly bursts exploding around them.

    It is almost always used metaphorically today, to refer to being subject to heavy amounts of criticism or rhetorical interference, especially if it seems designed to discourage you from proceeding toward a goal, as in, “I’m catching a lot of flak on my proposal.”

  7. Kathryn Fenner

    Thanks, Burl! Now I know!

    Now, isn’t “flak” an acronym, more properly speaking, like scuba and radar and laser? (At least I think the last two are acronyms).

  8. Brad

    Yeah, whatever. I was going to say “bastardization,” but decided that wasn’t right.

    I used “abbreviation” in the generic sense of “made shorter.” Yes, if you can pronounce it, it’s an acronym. And “flak” is eminently pronounceable. But ultimately, isn’t an acronym a type of abbreviation?

    As I understand it, all acronyms are abbreviations, but not all abbreviations are acronyms.

    So my sin in this case was to fail to be as specific as possible.

  9. bud

    Exactly what is a “chopper”? Is it someone who cuts up vegitables with a knife, a helicopter or a special type of motorcycle.

  10. Kathryn Fenner

    @Brad–why I said “more properly speaking”–could better have said, “more narrowly speaking”…an acronym is an abbreviation formed by using the initial letters of the term abbreviated. Query: are Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Sallie Mae acronyms, or a verbalization of an acronym (FNMA, FHLMC, SLM, respectively)?

    @ Burl– I’m thinking more motorcycle enthusiasts search for things on Google than helicopter or culinary ones do…not sure that means that the use of the word for motorcycle exceeds that for helicopter (doubt the culinary one is popular).

  11. Burl Burlingame

    Bud, all three, albeit spelled the same each time.

    Because the way the search algorhythms are set up, Google is a handy way of assessing popular word use. Google tells me that “chopper” is primarily linked to motorcycles.

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