Thursday, April 17, 2008

A shout-out for Henry Price

Henry was my predecessor here at the USC of the East -- for 30+ years he kept students enthralled (OK, in fear) of the power of the red pen as the primary purveyor of the editing class.

So it was nice to see Henry get a shout-out in a column by Sandy Bucknam, assistant Sunday editor of the Nashua Telegraph, the other day:

When I was in college, my journalism adviser told us to turn spell checker off.

He said it's a crutch, and that a good copy editor shouldn't need it.

Dr. Henry Price went on to become Freedom Forum National Journalism Teacher of the Year and the dean of the journalism program at the University of South Carolina, so I like to cite my background when we get into "discussions" here at The Telegraph about editing and style.

One thing I never did do, though, was turn off the spell checker. I figured that even though I should catch everything, it would be a good last resort before placing stories on a page.

However, that strategy backfired two weeks ago ...
Henry would be proud -- not at the mention, but at the chance to say "see, I told you so," but in that kind, almost patrician way that never made you feel put down (I didn't have him for a class; I just worked with him).

Good to see those lessons still ring true after all these years.

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