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Excellent note from a reader

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by MU_was_not_so_hard, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    I think not picking up on "MISTEAK" as a piece of intentional comedy is the worst offense of any here. ;)
  2. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    I got a letter like that back in college. It was from a very poorly written, sloppy, mistake filled brief I typed up quickly just before deadline.

    The clip had a red pen taken to it several times and it stung when I read it.

    I kept the clip in my wallet for eight years -- which is when I lost that wallet. I wish I still had that clip to pull out and look at every now and then.

    If you do decide to reply, acknowledge your mistake. Credit the person for catching it and promise yourself to keep trying harder.
  3. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Hey, we had a former news-side copy editor who made a habit of leaving these red-penned clips in the mailboxes of writers and other copy editors alike. And he'd never sign them, although we all knew it was him.

    Let's just say payback is a bitch.
  4. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    If you guys get a kick out of malaprops, you really should read Richard Lederer's "Anguished English." You'll be laughing so hard you can't breathe.
  5. busuncle

    busuncle Member

    I did the same thing at the last job for which I had a desk/cubicle in the office. My hate-mail wall was always a good conversation piece.

    I had a colleague who would literally let that stuff ruin his day. Or, worse, he would spend an hour crafting the "perfect" response. Never understood why he let it bother him so much.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Good story, Idaho.

    So what you're saying is you should use this as a learning experience and take better care of your wallet in the future.
  7. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    Exactly. I lost that clip, $7 dollars, my debit card, some pictures of my kids and my drivers license.

    The lesson was that you should really empty your wallets on the shore before jumping off a rope swing into the Snake River just for fun.

    That and run your last-minute briefs through a spell check and an editor before sending them to press.
  8. fmrsped

    fmrsped Active Member

    How did an improper use of their and there get by your desk?!

    Ahhh, memories.
  9. andyouare?

    andyouare? Guest

    I always had the same response to any nasty e-mail. Whether it was 5 pages long on why we don't cover their team, or two sentences telling me how bad my story was:

    "Thank you for reading the Podunk Press."

    That's it. Nothing else. What are they going to say? A friend told me about it and I used it ever since.
  10. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    What are they going to say? You won't agree with it, but here goes...

    "What a smarmy SOB."

    And you shall argue, what did I say that was so smarmy? Because you know they can't provide a good argument. But YOU know it was a smarmy response, and THEY know it was a smarmy response.
  11. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    When Dave Lawrence left KR's Detroit Free Press to become publisher of KR's Miami Herald, a Freep cartoonist drew a cartoon of Lawrence sitting amid smoldering office furniture, with the caption: "Dear (Mr. I Forget Now): Only a reader who truly cared about the Free Press would take the time and effort to construct a letter bomb ..."
  12. busuncle

    busuncle Member

    I guess I could see that.

    My rule of thumb is that any reader who takes the time to write a polite note (even if it's a polite note to say that I'm a dumbass) deserves a polite response.

    Anyone who can't write without being inflammatory or rude (or worse) doesn't deserve any response at all.
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