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Editor's notes: On typo(s) and obstreperousness
editor's notes

The typo was right up there, right above the headline in the little header box thing that says Editor’s notes.

Only it didn’t. It said “Editor’s noes.”

What? What’s a noes? More importantly, why didn’t I see it until today?

For the record, I still don’t know where the t went, but it was up there a few weeks back. I do know that as we newspaper dummies try to do more and more, and do it faster and faster with less and less, the number of typos seems to be among the more and more we’re doing.

Heck, I’ve lately seen words misspelled on CNN, Fox, the New York Times and other national, regional and local dailies.

It’s not just us so called journalists, either. Not long ago, at a certain high school in Effingham County that prides itself on its academics, I saw a word misspelled on the football scoreboard. It said, over and over again, “Let’s here some noise.”

But then, everybody knows most good football coaches can’t spell. They don’t have to, either.

Way back in 1995, before there was a South Effingham High, the legendary Effingham and Appling County coach Bob Griffith gave me a roster filled with about 17 kids with the first name Shaun. I used that roster to put together our football preview - -we used to do them when we had advertiser support and sports editors.

I got about 15 calls from angry moms the day the football preview hit the street. Their let me know their babies were named Shawn and Sean and some others I can’t remember, but not Shaun.

Anyway. You’d think if I only have one paper to handle a week, I could at the very least make sure it wasn’t missing letters or putting them in the wrong order.

That’s why it hit me that I could go off on a whining streak and blame typos on a lot of things, such as trying to be a 24-hour newsroom with a staff more suited to cranking out a weekly office newsletter. But I won’t. These are the times we live in. It is what it is.

Instead, I’m going rogue and blaming my mistakes on all of the following, though I don’t think it’s all inclusive.

I blame ague, bees, cheese, vanity magazines, the Taliban, developers, Squidward, modern so-called country music, anacondas, muggles, the bubonic plague, vampire bats, Popeye cartoons, corn chips, Godzilla, spray deodorant, traffic, velopers, large loud people, tots, Ohio, Elvis impersonators, Proud Boys, chickens, beets, HGTV, disestablishmentarianism, the governor’s race, real estate lawyers, solenoids, flying saucers, cold snaps, heat waves, hurricane season, turkey leftovers, PR firms, Clemson and the so-called Vanilla Gorillas.

Speaking of the latter, a group with alleged ties to white supremacists, it’s got to be particularly painful to World War II veterans to see the Nazi swastika making a comeback after all they sacrificed to stomp out the rotten ideology behind it back in the 1940s.

It’s also rather unsettling to those who could ostensibly be targeted by these nuts. As one Jewish friend put it the other day, “it’s scary stuff.” Taken not long after the shooting in Pittsburgh that killed 11 Jewish people in a synagogue, she’s right.

This is scary stuff. And stupid stuff, too.

Not that it’s surprising some folks hate other folks based on their skin color or religious affiliation or country of origin. It’s what some people do, whether they’re white, black, Christian, Muslim, yankee, Southerner, whatever.

They hate. Really hate.

At the end of the day, it’s a waste of human potential and the lazy way out. It keeps people from exercising whatever it is that makes most of us at least try to deny the worst in ourselves and find the best in others.

Truth is that empathy just doesn’t run deep in some folks. The question then becomes whether we should fi d empathy for them and I don’t know the answer to that. I do know sometimes its easier not to.

Finally, I end this long correction with a word that I have come to love.

Obstreperous. Ob-strep-er-us.

It means noisy and difficult to control. It is an obstreperous word. It sounds like what it means.

I am thinking it would make a good name for a band or a bar or something, The Obstreperous Owls.

I have been to public hearings where obstreperous might fit. Some years ago I watched as local folks blamed former President Barack Obama for a millage rate hike by the school board, which is entirely and gleefully Republican. Efforts to put that notion to rest were made. I’m not sure it took.

Apart from that, the best comment was from some fellow from up north who must have majored in condescension. “Assuming your numbers can stand up to forensic accounting,” he said, opening his address.

I also think obstreperous can apply in a way to traffic, which seems to get loonier, louder and more congested the older I get and the more people move South and bring their cars with them. Also to blame, I found out, is the booming growth at the Savannah port. That’s what my brother-in-law said and he tends to be up to speed on just about everything you can think of.

His take is that the port’s growth has added so many trucks to the traffic around here it’s overwhelmed infrastructure. If you disagree, maybe a day spent at the intersection at highways 80 and 280 in Blitchton counting all the trucks dodging the scales on I-16 will give you pause to reconsider.

And given that warehouse space and potential train switching yards are popping up just down the road from my house while land is being cleared for more port-related fun in nearby Chatham, it’s clear that we are on the way to turning the Coastal Empire into the Los Angeles of the South, at least as far as traffic and population is concerned.

Or maybe not. But we’re pedaling as fast as we can to catch up. All we need now is about 10,000 more subdivisions around here to house all the people stuck in traffic nd we’re good.

It’ll be fun.

We can all be obstreperous together.

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