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Monday, January 12, 2009

Do I Offend?

A few months ago, our local paper began running a column about clipping coupons and saving money at the grocery store. I was really looking forward to reading this column. That is, until I read the first article. Now, I don't pretend to be any kind of expert when it comes to writing or even finding good deals, however, this column was...well...let's just say, it wasn't very good, in my opinion.

First off, the writing style was very boring. It didn't hold my attention at all and I'm actually interested in the subject matter. I can't imagine someone who never thought about saving money reading this and making it through to the end.

Second, there were typos and grammatical errors in every paragraph. Maybe I'm a perfectionist; maybe I'm a little more sensitive to this particular issue because I proofread as part of my day job, but for a newspaper article to be so messy with misspellings and awkward grammar style is pretty substandard if you ask me.

Last, and probably the most annoying factor, the writer did not write about the best bargains out there. Instead, it seemed like he closed his eyes, pointed to a location on the page of the flyer, and wrote about whatever item his finger happened to be touching. It would have taken very little effort to actually look at the coupons and the deals to figure out where one could gain significant savings.

I fumed over this for a few weeks and then finally was so fed up, I felt he needed to know how I, Mrs. Jane Public, felt about his so-called money-saving column. After all, wasn't the whole point of the column to help us save money?

So I wrote. And I wrote some more. And I kept on writing until I felt my point was clear. (I also spell-checked numerous times before sending the email out into cyberspace to end up in the Editor's inbox.) I awaited a response.

No response came.

I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was relieved that I was able to voice my opinions, which is something I rarely do in person. It made me feel better to be able to get my views out there, even if they would never be read by a human. That feeling of relief soon evaded as my husband read to me from that column yesterday.

The man specifically answered my email in his column (and I might add that it was very oddly placed in the middle of the article, but I digress). It was not so specific that he named me or anything, but specific enough that I knew he was thinking of me as he typed. He defended himself like my husband does when he knows I'm dead-on right about something but doesn't want to admit it, so he makes up 101 excuses. He ended with, "Enough said." I suppose that was his male chauvinistic way of telling me to back off. I think he was about to get the claws out.

I would have been fine with the fact that he answered my letter in the column if he had not gone on to use my examples and not give me an ounce of credit. So, he basically told me to shut up because he was doing the best he could, then insulted the public by saying he was trying to keep it simple for the average Joe, but must have secretly thought I had a brain because he used my logic and insight for this week's deals.

That's OK; he can have them. The whole point I was trying to make was that the general public are smart enough to read a deal and be able to do it, so why not write about the best deals? If he needs to steal someone else's ideas in order to do it, I'm fine with that. I'm guessing there is probably some ulterior motive here. This most likely has something to do with them trying to get more people to purchase the newspaper in order to get the coupons he writes about. Or giving the deals of only 1 grocery store, which happens to be the one with the most advertising in the paper. It probably has very little to do with wanting to help people save money.

Book Giveaway: Sundays at Tiffany's

Monie at Reading with Monie is giving away James Patterson's Sundays at Tiffany's. 5 winners will receive a paperback, 3 winners will win the audiobook, and 1 winner will receive the hardcopy. Contest ends at 9pm CST on January 19. Good luck!