Friday, December 19, 2003

Signs of hope

I thought I'd pass on this bit of good news just to make people feel better. Recently, Jodi Wilgoren and other journalists have taken to using the word "smirk" to describe Howard Dean's smile. Some people have written Ms. Wilgoren objecting to the negative connotation of that characterization. Ms. Wilgoren has responded to these critics that "smirk", to her, is almost synonomous with "mischievous" and was not meant to imply anything disparaging.

A poster over on Table Talk named NicoleM also wrote to the NY Times editors about this. Today she received the following reply:

Thank you for your inquiry.

Other readers have also written to us with this concern.

The standards editor, Al Siegal, agrees that 'smirk' was inappropriate and has so informed the political editors.

Cheers, Arthur Bovino Office of the Public Editor The New York Times

This just goes to prove that complaining can produce positive results.

This is a war that will be won by winning the little battles like this one.


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