Tenses, proofreading and why they do/don’t matter…

First off, I must say that, in my perception..sometime in the the mid-1990’s, print newspapers seemed to fire all of their proofreaders (or they simply saw the proverbial writing on the wall, and decided, “Well, fuck it; I’m now obsolete)”.  I can’t name one regional or national print newspaper from +/- 1997 onward that didn’t make consistent and absurd errors in tense, context, etc. (everything you need to make sense of a story presented in text) that would have been noticed by anyone with even a mediocre education in their native language and its mechanics.

I refer to all the unlikely suspects as well: do the READING yourself: it will do you some good…, look at ‘prestigious’ papers/publications from then, onward, and, if you know anything about language, you’ll be appalled.  NOW, if you really want to get pissed-off at an early indicator (like amphibians in ecological issues) …have a look at “Your Local Paper”.  I hope it makes you march down to their offices with a few thoroughly read and circled (use a red pen, it’ll piss them off more) editions of the publication to question the ‘why’.

News that should matter, whether on a local, national or international level, has become incomprehensible when attempting to understand details frequently lost in either context or tense errors.  I make a point of buying a few newspapers everywhere I go, for review later as a litmus test of where/how things were when I was there (retrospect is always more interesting, IMO).

The constants are the following: no attention to tense (which is more annoying than anything: not to difficult to adjust for in a news item), references to people via a last name, when they have not yet been mentioned in the piece (WHO)??, reorganization of AP articles by local morons who don’t know enough about the subject to NOT screw up any potential comprehension by their readership/ the application of headlines to these AP articles that make absolutely no sense.

I indict these sources because, “How dare you complain about the death of ‘Print Media’ when you let it go to shit before online sources became ubiquitous”?

———Now, onto prose: where it clearly doesn’t matter, because there is time to edit.  It is that simple.  I am not elderly, but was schooled in a manner of both speech and composition that stressed clarity when it truly mattered.  I don’t bother with these traditions in writings such as this because the intention is to convey a modality/convention as opposed to specific details about who bombed who when under whose orders with X,Y and Z weapons on this day, during these hours.  Should be very clear where/why the differences exist.

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–NGP

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