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MailTribune.com
  • Somewhere, more than the rainbow

  • Every so often along the curlicue path we call the March of Time, we're confronted with an evolutionary shift so life-changing in magnitude that we have to stop and catch our breath.
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  • Every so often along the curlicue path we call the March of Time, we're confronted with an evolutionary shift so life-changing in magnitude that we have to stop and catch our breath.
    Consider the standard logo for Merrca's most-used search engine. It was discovered recently that, in a change generations in the making, the fourth letter was moved one pixel to the right, while the fifth was moved a single pixel down.
    As Noah might say "¦. riiiiiiggghhhttt.
    Well, Noah wasn't working with pixels; he was dealing with cubits. And, of course, it wasn't Noah, it was Bill Cosby, but the jist is just the same.
    So when the interweb gods looked down from Mountain View and decided that they had a "g" and an "l" out of place, well that just couldn't stand. Go ahead; go ogle it for yourself. We'll wait.
    As Noah might say "¦ what's a pixel?
    Precisely. Well, not so precise, since the size of a pixel fluctuates depending on the resolution of your monitor — or so I'm told after an extensive 30-second search through my computer.
    Since being apprised of this earthshattering development, of course, I can contemplate nothing else. I mean, this isn't as major a metamorphosis as when Brian Forster replaced Jeremy Gelbwaks; but in terms of the drumbeat of history, the only constant is the hatred of change.
    Now, despite what it might say on your job performance review or kindergarten report card, we don't really have a difficult time accepting change. We (and by we, I mean you) just don't accept those changes you disagree with.
    Here within the pages of your newspaper, for instance, the disgruntled gremlins of grammatical guardianship are dealing with the subtle diminishment of common linguistics. The Associated Press — the default judge, jury and executioner of newspaper style for generations of pixel-stained wretches — hath recently decreed that, forever hence, the word "over" is an acceptable alternative for the construction "more than" when pertaining to numbers.
    This is no small decision. On Google alone there are over 224 million results debating the proper use of "more than" in a sentence. Heck, that little green triangle in the top right corner of the front page of your very own Mail Tribune has been using "over" improperly since those little green triangles were introduced.
    Now, suddenly, it's okay "¦ Ok "¦ "¦ OK "¦ accepted.
    Relationships, like the one between readers and their newspaper, are fragile. Maybe not as fragile as the wedding in Japan that has ended in divorce because the husband told the wife that he thought "Frozen" was only "OK" ("¦ okay "¦ lather, rinse, repeat), but just as susceptible to crashing to earth.
    It's too important to simply tell some of us to just let it go.
    This is how revolutions begin. One day, it's the disappearance of "more than" from stories you rarely read about budget requests; the next day, the forces of evil are attacking our holiest institutions.
    The National Football League has announced that the golden anniversary of its championship game, to be played Feb. 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California, will be known as Super Bowl 50. Your eyes are not deceiving you — that's an actual five in front of a zero denoting the number fifty instead of the traditional use of the Roman numeral.
    You know the Roman numeral for 50, right?
    Anyway, the NFL determined that it would be too difficult to incorporate the "¦ still looking, huh? "¦ into the Super Bowl logo, and thus the switch to Hindu-Arabic numerals. The league swears this will be a one-time change mandated because they've employed incompetent logo designers.
    But once the switch is made, the easier it will be to step back from the cliff and have numerals become the norm. The NFL is looking down the road at Super Bowl 139, for instance, by which time Roman numerals won't even be found on clocks — if we still have clocks.
    In short, anyone telling you that the 51st Super Bowl will have a traditional logo is perpetuating a massive LI.
    (You're smart people.)
    And being such, you'll notice that "California" was spelled out completely back there in the recent rambling. For this, we also can blame The Associated Press, which handed down another new commandment "¦ Thou Shalt Not Use Abbreviations For The Names Of States.
    Riiiiiiggghhhttt.
    The rule is for the body of the copy, not for the dateline stating where the story originated or for a caption associated with a photo — so, in essence, it's like one of those sales you hear about where "certain conditions apply." The intention, so sayeth the AP, is to make it easier for the readers of stories when they appear in English-language newspapers in foreign countries "¦ where they might not know the difference among N.C., N.D., N.H., N.J., N.M. and N.Y.
    Outside of our Ashland reader, however, none of us are in another country "¦ so feel free to ignore The Associated Press on that one. I'm going to, as are the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the McClatchy-Tribune News Service and many of the other syndicators from which we present stories for you to pore more than each and every pixel with a fine-toothed comb.
    Although why you would want to read the newspaper with a comb, I'll never understand.
    Mail Tribune news editor Robert Galvin can be reached at rgalvin@mailtribune.com
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