Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A True Professional

Reason #371 why Ann Dornfeld is my favorite KUOW reporter: she's a true professional. This morning, without bursting into laughter, she reported on a local man who had his genitals eaten away by some kind of fungus while in jail and had just settled his lawsuit against said jail for $300,000. Of course I feel sorry for the poor guy, but I could not have said those words without at least a snicker.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Presidential Grammar

Last night on All Things Considered, Robert Siegel outlined the official NPR rules for presidential grammar in a response to a letter from an irritated viewer. Being a total geek, I was thrilled to know that that there was an official policy and to hear it explained, but I must admit I’m not sure I understand it. The rules seem to be:

  1. For a current president, use “President X” for the first reference, then “Mr. X” for all remaining references
  2. For an elected but not yet serving president, who happens to currently be a Senator, use “President-Elect Y” for the first reference, then “Senator Y” for all remaining references

I can understand that President-Elect Obama is a long and inelegant title and that Senator Obama is more compact. However, it seems to me that “Senator” includes the same number of syllables as “President” and is, if anything, a less valued title given that presidential approval ratings are in the 20%’s (Who on earth are the people who still approve of him, by the way?) but Congress hit 9%. So why does the President get demoted to “Mr.” while the President-Elect gets demoted only to “Senator”? Grammar nitpickers in my reading public, please help!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting Day!

Sorry, I have about four half-written blog posts about cool NPR stories that I haven't gotten around to finishing, but it's election day! NPR is full of stories about electioneering, voter fraud, and general voter excitement, which is what I experienced.

Today was my last ever vote at a real polling place because King County is going absentee-only after this election. Given that 90% of King County votes absentee already, I was really surprised to see the crowds at the polling station this morning, and excited crowds at that! Unlike some places on the East Coast, I only had to wait about a minute before checking in and getting my ballot, but there were more people there than I'd ever seen in an election, including the last presidential election.

It's really too bad that we're going to get rid of this opportunity for educating our kids and just getting together to do our duty as citizens, especially since in order to tally absentee ballots we apparently have to go through a lot of rigmarole (see this description from The Stranger). There are also lots of stories of people who have signatures on their ballot envelopes that don't match their signatures on record, or who accidentally signed their ballots and invalidated them (you can't sign the actual ballot, just the envelope). Does this really seem like a good system?

Either way, happy voting everyone! And if you haven't yet (and you live in WA), go vote Yes on I-1000.