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 Post subject: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 10:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3135
Location: Albuquerque, N.M. USA
Bridge / By Phillip Alder
NEWSPAPER ENTERPRISE ASSOCIATION<p>Adolph S. Ochs, who was the publisher of The New York Times from 1896 to 1935, came up with the motto “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” In bridge, we could modify it to: All the Hands with Fit Should Bid Up.


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 8342
Location: Bethesda, Md.
Speaking of bridge, perhaps it's time to take a break from the grave matters we usually discuss and ask why bridge columns continue to be so widely used.<p>Does anyone play bridge anymore? Does any copy editor who handles a bridge column have any idea how to spot a mistake?


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 38
As someone who spent at least 10 years editing bridge columns without understanding them, I regularly campaigned to drop them. I was always told that they were immensely popular among a certain segment of the population (i.e., the rich, aging publisher's rich, aging friends) that would complain extremely loudly if they were ever canceled.


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 1399
Location: In the newsroom
Blanp, you'd be surprised at how many people play bridge. I don't, and I wouldn't know an error in a bridge column if it bit me, but there are plenty of folks out there who do and would. Bridge groups are quite popular.


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 4:40 pm 
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Posts: 8342
Location: Bethesda, Md.
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by SusanV:
Blanp, you'd be surprised at how many people play bridge. I don't, and I wouldn't know an error in a bridge column if it bit me, but there are plenty of folks out there who do and would. Bridge groups are quite popular.<hr></blockquote><p>I would guess that more people play Scrabble than play bridge, and Scrabble groups are quite popular. But I don't see any Scrabble-strategy columns.<p>In all seriousness, we ought not to be running columns that we do not understand. For all we know, al Qaeda is using bridge columns to send coded messages.


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 356
Location: Everett, Wash.
I think al-Qaida members are more the backgammon type.


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:55 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 24
Location: Torrance, Ca
we have one copy editor who claims to understand bridge. for the most part i just count to see if there are 13 cards in each hand, see if the bidding follows an alphabetical pattern ---C-D-H-S --- at least that is what i was told was the proper direction for bidding and look for spelling errors.


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 744
Location: HuskerLand
I read the bridge column almost every day and even had bridge explained to me last New Year's Eve and it still makes no sense. I think it's because we're trained to communicate and bridge is a game of dubious and dim communication. I'm a Jumble player myself, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 3557
Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
When I worked at the Milwaukee Sentinel, there was some sort of form everyone had to fill out in which they revealed anything in which they considered themselves some sort of an "expert." The theory, back in those pre-Web days, that it would be a good thing to save wear and tear on the library researchers if someone could just yell out "Hey...what do you call the stick that's used in a hurling match?" and have a "hurling expert" answer.<p>I don't remember seeing any bridge experts on there. Remarkably, we had one copy editor who was an "expert" in like 30 things. Bridge was not one of them. And no, it wasn't me.


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:01 am
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Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
Crap...the features desk just messaged us with a question about our popular Friday mah jongg column...


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 1775
Location: Baltimore
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Bumfketeer:
When I worked at the Milwaukee Sentinel, there was some sort of form everyone had to fill out in which they revealed anything in which they considered themselves some sort of an "expert."
<hr></blockquote><p>i worked in a newsroom with one of those lists in the computer system. one category was "languages spoken." the managing editor put down "street." a few years later he became editor -- a job he holds a dozen years later.<p>shows how stupid i am: i figured Spanish would be handy at a South Florida paper.


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 145
Location: Toronto
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Bumfketeer:
.... "Hey...what do you call the stick that's used in a hurling match?" and have a "hurling expert" answer.
.
<hr></blockquote><p>The hurling expert would holler "a hurling stick."<p>In those language questionnaires I always wrote American. Never did get that appointment to the Washington, D.C. bureau.


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 1:01 am
Posts: 58
Location: Salt Lake City
Our desk is chided regularly for being bitten by the mistakes that appear in the bridge column. We have a few in-house experts, but if the column reads like a foreign language it's hard to articulate a question without getting a response tied to strategy. All I want to know is if South goes here or here and whether East's no-trump really deserves the emphatic exclamation point.


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:03 pm 
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Posts: 3557
Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
I hate to say this, Kawtry, but could it be that 75 percent of the Myrtle Beach population is retired...which means most of them play bridge, and most of them have little to do other than nitpick the bridge column?


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 Post subject: Re: Ah, yes, I can hear the echo
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 131
Location: Cleveland, OH
Bumf may have been in Syracuse the year the HJ ran a snowfall table for every month since 1930-something and somehow lost a line in the marked-up table, so that a whole section of years was one month off. <p>We got a letter that would curl your hair from an obviously (from the handwriting) elderly reader who had kept his own tables for 50 years and had felt compelled to check every one of our numbers against his own.<p>In bridge, as in lottery numbers, snowfall records and baseball scores, you have to know they are OUT THERE, they are WAITING and they never put the KNIVES away. <p>Political columnists can go for years without mentioning trumps, Mega-millions winners, snow or batting averages, which is why they are allowed to blather on unmolested until they're senile.


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