Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 19:17:51 -0500

From: Grant Barrett gbarrett[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]JERRYNET.COM

Subject: RE Re: New York vowels

From: Donald M. Lance

The University of Missouri boasts of the first (true) and best (I really

don't know) school of journalism in the world. MU J-students

systematically avoid both linguistics and cliches like the plague. So the

Metro Gnome who wrote the cutsie NYPost piece on New Yawk vowels is in good


That's sarcasm, right, Donald? As a former University of Missouri-Columbia journalism student, I

feel confident in saying that MU journalism students love cliches and other worn writing devices

like they love their mothers.

Things always "spark" in headlines (I'm waiting for the headline "Satan Sparks Armageddon").

"Debates are always "raised." Durn near every story has the word "issue", "debate" or

"controversy" in it, as if readers needed to be cued into the multiple sides to the issue. No MU

journalism student ever met a third-person story he or she wouldn't rather write in the first person.

My favorite thing they do in the University of Missouri-Columbia journalism school is convince

each crop of 20 some-odd year-olds that they have anything to say the rest of the world would

care one whit to read.

Naturally, the kids buy into this, because they are certain they would make a good columnist, a

great columnist, and if Andy Rooney can measure shrinkage in canned coffee on national

television, then they can write about the common trauma they had when their alarm clocks broke

and they were late for class.

There are various caveats that lead me to these points of view, but I'll just close by saying: I

stopped being a small-time journalist a few years ago because I didn't like the company I was

keeping. Now I go to the track and hang out on the docks and sleep a little better at night.

Grant Barrett


Not sarcastic, just emotionally resourceful