Editor’s Scratchpad

Wednesday, September 5, 2001

Turn on the spell check

If state Rep. Bob McDermott wants to win the Republican nomination for a seat in Congress and then defeat Democratic Rep. Patsy Mink, he needs to (a) find a new press agent, (b) buy a dictionary, (c) learn to use grammar and spell check, or d) all of the above.

A McDermott press release contains the following errors in basic English: "Minks record is real anemic ..." should be "Mink's record is really anemic." "... ineffetive and lathergic ..." should be "ineffective and lethargic." "... single handily ..." should be "single handed." "... Defense industry ..." should be "defense industry." "It is well know" should be "well known." "... our states' ..." should be "our state's." "Presidents Bushes" should be "President Bush's." "... Hundreds of Millions ..." should be "hundreds of millions." "... Locally elected ..." should be "locally elected."

We in this newspaper make our share of grammatical and spelling mistakes, as our readers are rightly all too willing to point out. For an aspirant to high office to allow more than a dozen mistakes on a single sheet to come out under his name, however, is to raise a question: If he can't get those basics right, could we count on him to master the complicated issues of Washington?

Richard Halloran

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