[lit-ideas] Re: embraced, utilized, unique, geology, Hickenlooper, beer

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 21:04:14 -0800

on 12/11/04 2:36 PM, David Ritchie at ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

> Please, please, let it be that Sarah Doyle Lacamoire, who wrote the piece
> for the Times, just has a tin ear.  Or, if Scots really have begun to talk
> like this, lie to me.  Tell me there ain't no very uniqueness being embraced
> and utilized in my homeland.

For want of holiday shopping to do--we have hit upon the plan of going away
for the holidays and giving one another the trip in lieu of gifts--I am
reduced to replying to my own post.  I have new evidence that something
interesting has happened at the New York Times.  I believe that the Times
has adopted the Ritchie policy, a somewhat controversial idea, first
employed eighteen years ago in a crummy free weekly in Los Angeles, that
people's words should be reported as they were spoken.  The downside to this
policy is that people get very irate when they see their actual words in

Interviewee: "That's not what I wanted to say."
Ritchie: "But that's what you said.  Would you like me to play back the

There is a longstanding, and I believe unacknowledged, tradition among
journalists that you "clean up" what someone said, so that it conforms to
patterns of dialog in movies and novels.  The Times seems to be branching
out.  Witness the following.

In an article about beer and geology--one that includes a Dr. Maltman (who
else to quote on the subject?) and John W. Hickenlooper, mayor of Denver,
former geologist and brewer--Dr. Charles Bamforth of UC Davis is quoted
thus, "The scientific understanding of beer is better understood than that
of wine.  It has been studied for many, many years in considerable details
in a number of locations around the world."

You can find more here:


David Ritchie
Portland, Oregon

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  • » [lit-ideas] Re: embraced, utilized, unique, geology, Hickenlooper, beer