Tuesday, January 31, 2006

New Haven Register Editorial Windbaggery

EDITORIAL: Why did board ignore charges?
A New Haven Register Editorial

More than one investigation is needed in the West Haven schools. 11 words

Limp passive verb

Edit: "West Haven schools need more than one investigation." 8 words

The first is into allegations that children who live outside West Haven but are related to a member of the school board and a principal were allowed to attend an early childhood program on the basis of faked rent receipts showing they were city residents. 45 words

Convoluted forty-five-word sentence-bolus: passive verbs; flatulent wordiness. Unless written with felicity, a 45-word sentence crosses readers' eyes.

Edit: "Authorities must investigate allegations that non-resident children related to board members or principals could attend early-childhood programs. Faked rent receipts camouflaged this privilege." 2 sentences, 23 words

The second investigation should hold the board accountable for ignoring letters last July and September about the favoritism and false residency claims. 22 words

Edit: "Investigation must hold board members accountable also for ignoring last July and September’s complaints." 13 words

The schools recently launched an investigation after receiving yet another letter that was addressed to police and the state as well. It apparently made it impossible to brush the allegations aside. 31 words

Edit: "A recent letter cc'd to police and state prodded schools to investigate complaint they couldn’t brush aside." 17 words

Credit goes to George Monahan, a board member, for pointing out the first two complaints were ignored.

Pussyfooting passive verb

Edit: "Board member George Monahan gets credit for revealing the board’s ignoring the first two complaints." 15 words

Another question about editorial judgment: Editor commends a guy who sat on this information and did nothing? Would Register editors send missive to Stockholm to make this cornered informant a Nobel Laureate if he had come forward in July?

If the board wants to dispel the growing suspicion of favoritism about who is awarded slots in a coveted school program, it should explain why it was so reluctant to investigate charges of misconduct on the part of one of its members and a school principal. Certainly, they deserve exoneration if the charges are groundless. 55 words

Wordy harrumphing and gutless conditional mood to keep "upstanding" board members blameless unless caught with a bloody meat cleaver in hand.

To dispel suspicion, the board must explain reputed conduct of board member and principal. Groundless charges exonerate them. 17 words

Question: Was the assigned Register reporter brain dead? Did he doze through the rumors that must have whirled about?

So much for press vigilance


Blogger Matt said...

>Edit: "A recent letter cc'd to police and state prodded schools to investigate complaint they couldn’t brush aside." 17 words<

"Cc'd"? You call that a verb? And why pussyfoot, as you write, with a passive one? Cc'd by whom? And only one complaint?

Edit 2
Joe Bloggs recently cc'd a letter to police and state that prodded schools to investigate complaints they couldn’t brush aside.

6:30 AM  

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