Saturday, October 17, 2009


A made-up word, I think-- at least it doesn't come up in dictionary searches.

The root means revise or edit, of course, but I like the added echo of didactic: 'inclined to teach or lecture others too much', among other meanings.

It describes me pretty well.

I'm an active reader, and my reactions to the written word range from 'I wish I'd said that' to 'you can't be serious'. Ho-hum is the norm, which can be a good thing: it's hard to follow the play when an attention-grabbing actor is at center stage.

That's a long introduction, but I'm trying to explain why I always return to words and phrases I spot in print. It's more about me than the writer.

So... I was struck (heh) by an item in today's Saipan Tribune: "An almost $600,000 worth of federal funded water project has been completed, and now serves over 1,000 customers in Marpi, As Matuis, San Roque, and portions of Tanapag."

Clang. My ears hurt, figuratively. The article is understandable: it's easy to end up with an extra "a", "an" or "the" when you're rewriting something. Maybe that horrible phrase "worth of" got added later. Deadline pressure, I suppose, and no one read the lead before the article was published. (I was also warned, in my first Journalism class, to avoid the word "over" and use "more than" instead. It can be pretty comical if it's used with the wrong verb.)

Yes, I'm probably pedantic, but I had to go back and reread this sentence: "The CNMI government, through Labor special counsel Deanne C. Siemer, special legal counsel to Gov. Benigno Fitial, Howard Willens, and Labor deputy secretary Barry Hirshbein announced on Thursday during a press conference about the new policy of issuing “umbrella permits” to an estimated 13,000 alien workers."

But hey, I want to be positive. Like a brooding, black bird of prey... "the fate of former Finance Secretary Antonio R. Cabrera rests on seven women and five men who were selected yesterday during a day-long court proceeding to serve as jury in his trial on corruption charges. Doesn't my simile add life to the story summarized in today's Flashback?

Don't worry, I'm through being redactic (the spell-checker doesn't like it) for at least awhile, but I wanted to mention DEQ red-flags 7 sites on Saipan, 2 on Rota.

Do they actually, physically raise red flags at those locations? I haven't seen flags myself, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

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