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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Spelling and Grammar
Matt Dean, Photographer, Student/Intern
Lake Worth | FL | USA | Posted: 2:20 PM on 12.27.09
->> Is this a grammar mistake in Kevin Fujii's article "The other side of intern diaries: The Seattle Times"? I think Mr. Fujii meant to say "then" instead of "than" in the sentence:

"Third bottom line: If you applied for an internship at the Seattle Times, than you sent your application to the wrong paper."

But to take his advice, I do not want to assume anything. :-)

-mattd
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Robin Loznak, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roseburg | OR | USA | Posted: 2:37 PM on 12.27.09
->> I'm not perfect, but from later in the same article, "I have unique surname."
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Andrew Knapik, Photographer, Assistant
Lincoln Park | MI | USA | Posted: 2:43 PM on 12.27.09
->> I believe his point was the spelling difference between The Seattle Times and the Seatlle Times. Note the capital T in the first one.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 6:12 PM on 12.27.09
->> Interesting that the parenthetical at the end of the article contains the very error noted in "Third bottom line".
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Sean Gates, Student/Intern, Photographer
Hempstead & Cooperstown | NY | US | Posted: 6:14 PM on 12.27.09
->> I like how the article takes so much effort in explaining the difference between The Seattle Times and the Seattle Times but yet on the bottom of the page it says "Kevin Fujii is the sports picture editor at the Seattle Times. Take note on how to spell the last name."
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Jordan Murph, Photographer, Assistant
Carlsbad & Honolulu | CA/HI | USA | Posted: 7:10 PM on 12.27.09
->> What is with people calling out articles written for the Sports Shooter Newsletter lately. These are pieces written by people trying to give a little something back. NO is is being paid to contribute to the newsletter. NO one pays Robert Hanashiro to produce the Newsletter. It is FREE to us all. Mr. Fujii's article is intended as a guide for applying for an internship at his paper, a guide with many principles that can be applied many ways...how come no one is commenting the good points from it but instead publicly chastising the author on a few errors? Sheesh
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 7:20 PM on 12.27.09
->> It is the final newsletter...
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Robert Boag, Student/Intern
Harrisonburg | VA | US | Posted: 7:24 PM on 12.27.09
->> Why is this the last newsletter? I know that it is a lot of work to keep going and I remember reading the reason I have just forgotten. I really enjoy the articles.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 8:41 PM on 12.27.09
->> I find it hard to believe that Mr. Fujii takes time out of his busy day to volunteer to write (for no compensation whatsoever) an article aimed at helping students land an internship and no less than two "student/intern" members here (the target demographic he was trying to help) go out of their way to criticize a few grammatical errors.

By the way Matt, Robin, Mark and Sean, you each currently have grammatical errors on your member pages... I likely do too.
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Matt Brown, Photographer
Fullerton | CA | USA | Posted: 8:42 PM on 12.27.09
->> Dean have you ever done anything for the newsletter? Have you! Jordan could not have said it better.
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 8:50 PM on 12.27.09
->> People need to stop calling out articles like this, its just tasteless. As Jordan said, Robert does this for free, to help out others, instead, you come on here and nitpick every detail rather than look at the real message behind the articles. Oh, please stop dog piling on when someone else mentions a mistake and everyone else feels the need to note that they saw it too. You're not helping anyone.

I wish Kevin would have written his article before I contacted him about the internship - why? Because this article might have been based upon my story: I was naive enough to not only say "the Seattle Times" in my first email to him - but to also assume that it was a postmark deadline [NOT!] - the result of my mistakes was a series of brutal but useful lessons that I learned early, before I sent out any other applications, and for that I am grateful. Hopefully other students will read this and not make the mistakes I did when applying to The Seattle Times or any other newspaper.

As for this being the final newsletter, thats really unfortunate, they are awesome. I've learned a heck of a lot over the years.

Articles from Sean Cullen and Jordan Murph about how to be an assistant gave me info that helped me be prepared for my first and subsequent times assisting SI's Peter Read Miller.

In high school I learned basketball remotes via those articles, and other cool tech things too, but over the years the newsletter has contained stories about being a human being and a good journalist that I think are even more important.

Have a safe holiday and thanks again for your contributions Robert and Jordan!
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Sean Gates, Student/Intern, Photographer
Hempstead & Cooperstown | NY | US | Posted: 9:06 PM on 12.27.09
->> I wanted to apologize for my earlier post. I did not mean for it to sound negative or unappreciative. I actually greatly enjoyed the piece and found it very informative as I have been recently applying to internships. Many of the points Mr. Fujii made are true for applying to any job or internship and it is surprising how many applicants overlook simple things such as names and deadlines. I’m sad to hear that this was the last newsletter as I have learned a lot from them in the past.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 9:30 PM on 12.27.09
->> "It is the final newsletter..."

Say it isn't so.
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Thomas E. Witte, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 9:42 PM on 12.27.09
->> Matt Dean-

Do you know what the best part is? On your member page you have a single sentence as your message and titles for your photos (no captions), yet you managed to squeeze in 20 mistakes and AP style violations.

You also have two glaring problems in your post.

I'm afraid your criticism privileges are suspended until further notice.

I'll have an article coming out shortly (coming week or so) on NPPA's Visual Student blog and it may be in your best interest to skip down to the lengthy section concerning what you say on public forums. You may be wondering what the big deal is. Well, for starters you apparently have no qualms calling people out over little things. Secondly, you call out people of authority. If I were in charge of hiring interns, why would I want to bring in someone who would potentially be a troublemaker in the newsroom?

Up until today I didn't know you even existed and now I have a negative first impression of you. I have a sneaking suspicion I'm not alone.
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Michael McNamara, Photographer, Photo Editor
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 1:29 AM on 12.28.09
->> Matt Dean--

Here's what I said the last time somebody decided to complain that they thought the newsletter could use a copyeditor: Because the newsletter is written by people who volunteer their time, and is managed by someone who volunteers entirely too much of his own time, you could offer to proofread the articles. That would be very nice of you.

At the bottom of Bert's "Leading Off" article, he says this: "I welcome any comments, corrections, suggestions and contributions. Please e-mail me at bert@sportsshooter.com." If you can't read between the lines, he is asking for help. Next time, offer it (but I'd suspect that bridge is currently on fire).

As for Bert saying this is the final newsletter, with the disrespect he's been shown over the past two issues, I can't say I blame him.
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Daniel Bates, Photographer
Fayetteville | NC | | Posted: 2:01 AM on 12.28.09
->> I am not an English major, but I do try to use correct fundamentals when writing anything less ephemeral than an instant message. Attention to detail is required for my daily job and it helps me in my photography as well.

I would be happy - and, indeed, honored - to proofread the next issue of the newsletter, if there is one.
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Dianna Russell, Photographer
Springfield | MO | USA | Posted: 2:03 AM on 12.28.09
->> Some will never know what they had 'till it's gone.

Gratitude goes a long, long way in the enjoyment of life ...
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Kevin Fujii, Photo Editor, Photographer
Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 2:09 AM on 12.28.09
->> You're teachers learned you well!

:)

I love the irony.

The article is super long. I thank you for reading it all. Unfortunately, you're not getting back the 10 minutes you wasted.

Yes, there are errors. I commit errors every day. Like today, I didn't signal when I made a quick lane change on Fairview Avenue. I think I accidentally put a plastic No. 5 bottle in the plastic Nos. 1-4 bin.

I'm not perfect.

But my point is your job application should be.

Here are some examples from cover letters:

"I love you're photography staff, BTW, Allen Berner is the best!" (This is my all-time favorite. The student wrote the contraction of "you are" instead of the possessive "your." She wrote a phrase in text-message code. And, the correct spelling of Berner's given name is Alan.)

"Seattle is my favorite place in the World. I would love to work their."

"I could learn alot from your photographers."

"Growing up in XYZ... I no the city like the back of my hand."

And last, but not least, "If I am chosen as your summer intern, than you don't have nothing to worry about."

I hope this gives you a better glimpse of my point.

Most applications perfectly fulfill our requirements. But there's a handful of the 1500 applications I viewed this year who didn't.

A big thanks to Robert Hanashiro. These newsletters have been invaluable tools for learning, loving and living photojournalism.

I understand, and now feel your pain, Bert. You could donate your skin to the military for research.

Happy New Year (Or should I not capitalize that?), y'all!

See you in the funny pages.
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Todd Spoth, Photographer, Student/Intern
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 4:44 AM on 12.28.09
->> Kevin, I'm so glad you're still saying "y'all".

Sincerely,
The Great Nation of Texas
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Matt Dean, Photographer, Student/Intern
Lake Worth | FL | USA | Posted: 9:20 AM on 12.28.09
->> Yikes! Thanks for the responses. I had a blast reading them. I expected to be called out writing something like that anyway. One thing I do want to say is that I'm not ungrateful for the for the time people to take to write articles on this site. I read them and learn from them just like everyone else. However, like Mr. Fujii, I enjoyed the irony in it all. That was the whole point of bringing it up. And I hoped with the smiley face people would understand it was all in good attitude. I see how people could of found this tasteless, but I really tried to bring it up politely as possible. I understand there are some important people on here that look and scrutinize over everything and that may or (for me, after this) may not help with getting a job further down the road, but every time I post, I don't want to feel like I'm applying for a job. I cracked up at Thomas when he called me a trouble maker! If I saw a mistake in the newsroom I'd still would say something. Working at a newspaper is a team effort and regardless of position, corrections should be pointed out, fixed, and then move on.


Happy Holidays.
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Bob Nichols, Photographer
Tipton | IN | USA | Posted: 10:19 AM on 12.28.09
->> Matt said "I see how people could of found this tasteless"

That should be "I see how people could HAVE found this tasteless".

:-)
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Michael McNamara, Photographer, Photo Editor
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 10:47 AM on 12.28.09
->> "I really tried to bring it up politely as possible."

No, you didn't. Calling somebody out on a publicly read message board isn't polite, no matter the effect you think a smiley face has. Polite would have been a private email or phone call.
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Richard Uhlhorn, Photographer
Chelan Falls | WA | USA | Posted: 12:01 PM on 12.28.09
->> Photographers are not necessarily writers. It's obvious that editing is not something that goes into these newsletters, but that's Ok because, regardless of the grammer, it's the content that's illuminating.

Robert... we need a better explanation as to why no more newsletters.

Happy New Year to everyone out there.

Rich
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 12:55 PM on 12.28.09
->> I'll second what Mr. Witte said. Maybe you "student/interns" should hold of on criticizing other folks until you get your OWN house in order. And I truly think the journalism schools should probably add a course on what NOT to post on professional public message boards. Maybe call it

"FOOTINMOUTH 101"
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Bryan Littel, Photographer
Oaklyn | NJ | USA | Posted: 2:48 PM on 12.28.09
->> Chuck - they should probably follow that up with "Locking Down Facebook Pictures of You Drunk 104", "Advanced Tweeting: Don't Badmouth Your Employer in Public 202" and "No, Seriously, Think About What You Just Typed Before You Post It 407".
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Jamie Roper, Photographer
Boulder | CO | United States | Posted: 3:49 PM on 12.28.09
->> hmm, all of the perpetual "professionalism" aside, didn't sportsshooter just run a headline that read, "So You Wanna to be a ..." something or other?

no, i don't wanna to be. or maybe i do?
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Will Powers, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 5:11 PM on 12.28.09
->> It is interesting how many people dismiss the need for accuracy in writing, since we are photographers. Seems to me we write captions and take notes about what we are photographing.

Some of the photographers here may never write a caption, but if you are sending a client a bill, I would think accuracy would help some photographers to be paid in a timely manner.

Didn't Robert Beck say in his recent "Front Page," that part of an assistant's job is to look over his soldier and catch details that he might have missed? I don't think chastising the student/interns on the message board for catching the irony of bad grammar in an article about how important grammar is in the selection process for a newspaper job is professional on the professional photographer's part. I think it shows that he gets it.

Btw, I would be happy to be a copy editor for SS if they want/need one.
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Bryan Littel, Photographer
Oaklyn | NJ | USA | Posted: 7:13 PM on 12.28.09
->> No one's claiming spelling and grammar aren't important; it's an issue of calling someone out on a professional message board over a typo. Seriously, a typo. I don't know about anyone else, but I read the newsletter religiously, and all the important, interesting and relevant info outweighs a couple of typos about a gajillion to one.
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Paul Alesse, Photographer
Centereach | NY | USA | Posted: 7:34 PM on 12.28.09
->> For those of you that have cheat cards for lighting and/or exposure (Sunny 16 rule) add this cheat card for your pocket as well. It's the most common errors I see from my students on daily basis. The mistakes I see from 11 and 12 year olds are the same ones I see from adults.

1) "a lot" is two words.
2) "should of" ; "could of" ; "would of" should all be "have" instead of "of".
3) Watch for usage of "loose" vs. "lose".
4) Proper usage of "too, to, two" and/or "their, there, they're" and/or "where, wear, were."
5) For the most part, don't start a sentence with "Because" (there are exceptions, of course).
6) Watch for "dident, wouldent, couldent." I'm actually seeing more of those than ever before.
7) And finally, although it doesn't apply here, kids constantly spell works incorrectly where it's spelled correctly on the page. For instance, if they answer a comprehension question and the word appears in the question, they will spell it incorrectly in their response. It drives me crazy.

We have to realize that the youth today, including those that are about to enter the work force have been raised under an umbrella of mediocrity and laziness and those traits are reinforced in their lives on a daily basis.

Problem one... Punctuation and grammar are not viewed as important because the philosophy in education today has turned from one of proper english usage to an emphasis on fostering creativity and elevating self-esteem. The problem with that is that it is often at the expense of grammar and punctuation. Educators don't want to stifle the student's creativity and lower their self-esteeem. As an educator, I understand that, but I also think that there has to be a point where the conventions of the english language DO need to count for something. I try to do both in my classroom, but on the grammatical issue, I will tell you... it's a frustrating uphill battle.

Problem two... We have enabled children to give up and look to others to do things for them. No longer can they work through a problem on their own. They expect society to do it for them. As children, this means parents and teachers. They don't care to do it on their own, they give up after only a few seconds, and look for someone to tell them how to do it.

Problem three... Those entering the work force have grown up in an IM and text message world where grammar is not important. Lack of capitilization, use of anachronyms, and the abundance of sentence fragments are all commonplace now. Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. No matter how much writing I do in my classroom reinfocing proper grammar and punctuation, that 45 minutes of direct instruction is completely undone by the 4-5 hours they are spending outside of the classroom texting and IMing their friends on a daily basis. This is what we are up against.

Sorry for the OT rant, but you have to know where today's youth is coming from and you need to know it's not going to get any better. The only advice I could give to employers is to continue to hold your standards high, look for the diamonds in the rough (they are out there), hire them and tell them why!
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Paul Alesse, Photographer
Centereach | NY | USA | Posted: 8:29 PM on 12.28.09
->> And for those keeping score... I found five grammar/spelling errors in my last post.

I'm just as lazy and mediocre as everyone else.

Lauging Out Loud.

;-)
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 6:55 AM on 12.29.09
->> "I'd still would say something..."

(I would still would say something?)

Fixing and moving on...
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James Broome, Photographer
Tampa | FL | US | Posted: 2:45 PM on 12.29.09
->> Spot on, Paul.

As usual.
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Dirk Dewachter, Photographer
Playa Del Rey | CA | USA | Posted: 6:13 PM on 12.29.09
->> Paul, that was a very informative post, and I agree wholeheartedly with all you said. With that in mind, I would like to add some of my perspectives and observations about the overall quality of the English language used by the younger generations. These opinions are not based on proven scientific tests but are personal notations, based on real life practical situations, made over the last couple of decades.

I moved to the United States from Europe in 1983 and realize that I was born and raised in a different era, with different educational values but more importantly a highly structured academic environment. English is my fourth language and I am not a linguist or English major but I strive for perfection in everything I do and try to be the best at the tasks at hand.

In my 25-year professional career in the United States, both in the private and public sector, writing has been an important part of my assignments. Three of those years, and more recently as a first line supervisor, I was and still am responsible to read, review and correct the writings of others and the remainder of that time I was and still am responsible to complete comprehensive written materials.

Most of the writings, of others that I had to review, were created by people who had at minimum a high school diploma, however, 40 to 60 percent of them had a two or four year college degree and the quality of their work was atrocious. As Paul pointed out in his post, most of the errors were spelling errors but in the last four to five years I have noticed a dramatic increase in punctuation and grammatical errors.

In reflecting on what I noticed, I formed some unscientific opinions when I compare the overall language competency of students from the United States educational system. In 1986, I continued my education in the U.S. and entered a local community college to broaden my education and improve my promotability in the corporate world. Up to that point I had never seen a multiple-choice exam, I did not even know what a scantron was. Since then, only a few exams and promotional exams I have taken during my career required an essay.

Throughout my education in Europe, I attended all levels of school eventually graduating with a degree in Industrial Chemistry. I recall that my exams, tests, quizzes for all of the subjects were in the form of either, a sentence, a paragraph or several paragraphs that required one to read them, analyze them, extract the problem and requiring an answer, in writing, which sometimes in the form of a paragraph or essay. In addition, some of the exams were administered orally and in both methods you were obligated to have studied all your materials and be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter because guessing was not an option.

The written final for my organic chemistry exam, which was in 1976, consisted of four one page complex problems, each worth twenty-five percent of the score. The professor not only looked at your analysis of the problem, thought process at finding the solution and end result, but you were also graded on your written reply and I recall being deducted points for spelling and grammatical errors, in a chemistry exam no less. Studying a subject matter should yield someone to fully comprehend the material and should not be reduced to a multiple-choice exam where more often than not fifty percent of the answers are obviously disposable. Multiple-choice exams, in my opinion, can test someone’s knowledge in a subject matter but in the course of studying in the United States I can say that only two of those exams were challenging in language and content.

The point I am trying to make here is that reading; the development of analytical skills and the ability to formulate a structured reply in written form are essential skills in one’s career. The lack thereof or the omission of teaching the younger generation these essential skills undermine their communicative ability and you produce a generation of people who are looking at limited multiple choice options without learning how to read materials analytically, expand their vision and look for alternative choices. Multiple choice exams do not teach one these skills and as a result of the lack of essay type exams, these students are often unable to transform their thought processes or convert their ideas into writings that are well structured, with minimal punctuation, spelling or grammatical errors.

Not to shift blame from those who are unable to write a paragraph without errors, but the teachers and educational institutions are equally at fault for this phenomena. Reading student’s tests or written work is an unfortunate part of their work load but then it is far much easier to push the scantrons through a machine.

Paul's statement in his closing paragraph is so true and I will continue to wield a red pen.
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Nick Adams, Photographer
Houston | Tx | | Posted: 9:18 PM on 12.29.09
->> http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 11:29 PM on 12.29.09
->> Dirk, you got me!!!
"scantron" ??? WTH? can't find this word anywhere...
so I still do not know what this scantron you speak of is!!
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 11:35 PM on 12.29.09
->> Google is thy friend, Sir Charles........

http://www.scantron.com/
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 12:17 AM on 12.30.09
->> NOT FAIR! it's not a "word"...it's a company thingy! 8)
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Jim Comeau, Photo Editor, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 1:51 AM on 12.30.09
->> I noticed a lot more grey hairs on my head after I became a proofreader. (And yes, grey is an acceptable spelling of the word.)
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