Monday, February 24, 2014

Illiteracy Rising Among Los Angeles Journalists

Illiteracy is rising among Los Angeles area journalists.

In writing about "the public outcry" over Santa Monica's proposed Hines project [Santa Monica Daily Press, February 7, 2014, front page], David Mark Simpson wrote that we are in the "eye" of the storm. He then described a "large protest," which he apparently saw as the most tumultuous part of this outcry.

Yet the "eye of the storm" is the calm part of the storm -- not the tumultuous part.

Journalistic illiteracy also marred the December 26, 2013 issue of The Argonaut [page 9], which described The Doors as "the penultimate Venice band." But penultimate means "next to last." Clearly the writer of this caption (no byline was given) meant ultimate, not penultimate.

The internet has encouraged both illiteracy, and its acceptance, even among the college-educated. That is sad, but true. But still sadder is that even print journalists are not immune from this growing illiteracy.



Anonymous said...

The "eye of the storm" reference refers to the fact that one tumultuous meeting had a occurred earlier in the week and that another tumultuous meeting was scheduled for the following Tuesday but that there was not much for protesters to do in the week between the two meetings. Hence the calm eye of the storm.

Thomas said...

Nice spin, though I don't read it that way from the context. What's more, since the above article, I've caught David Mark Simpson in two misspellings.

In the April 2, 2014 issue of the Santa Monica Daily Press, page 1, Simpson writes:

"We do not want to pray on the most vulnerable population, children, by teaching them that it's OK to abuse animals,” she said.

The correct spelling is "prey" and not "pray".

And in the April 19-20, 2014 issue, page 1, Simpson writes:

In the video, a student and Black fight for about a minute. Black brings the student to the ground and holds him their.

The correct spelling is "there" and not "their".