While the rest of the staff is scurrying
to put the finishing touches on our Tribune “Official
Guide To Queens” Special Edition, I figured I’d try to quickly
spin something for my PRESS column. Since this column will run only in
the PRESS, to shortcut the hectic week’s work I’ve
revived a couple of the lighter items from the beginning of the year
2000 – before the PRESS was born.
Last month marked the 32nd Anniversary
of our publishing company — thirty two years of covering the news
and serving as a sounding board for the people of our borough.
Strangely, we started in the same year that our present editor was
born. Our art director was just a half a year old when our company was
born. Most of the rest of the staff are younger than our business.
Some in my position would worry that it makes them seem or feel old.
Not the case! It gives me pride. We have endured. Our story continues.
We covered the borough in the 1970s
without fax machines or computers. We covered the borough in the 1980s
without email or the internet. And we have covered the borough in the
1990s utilizing technological hoohahs that didn’t exist back when we
were born. Thirty two years after our birth, we feel pretty damn good.
We think we look pretty good too. We
were the first community newspaper on the east coast to use 4-color
printing. We were the first weekly in metro New York to build a
website reaching hundreds of thousands of folks at home and across the
globe who visit on the internet. We pioneered special editions like
the Guide to Queens we are presently producing. Our original
eight-page publication has given way to a new, modern publishing
That publishing undertaking now includes
the PRESS of Southeast Queens, the paper you hold in
We believe that the writing, reporting,
advertising and commentary have similarly advanced to keep pace with
today’s world and lead community journalism in a new challenging
The Company started in 1970 in a desk at
the back of a Main St. real estate office. Its compass was a guy named
Ackerman — a former school teacher driven by community issues and a
commitment to service. And as the borough grew so did we. And Ackerman
grew too! :-)
Since 1989, we’ve published out of our
present home on the westbound service road of the LIE, two blocks from
Utopia. When we first came to Queens there was no Long Island
Expressway. Now, it serves not only as the world’s biggest parking
lot but as the main thoroughfare connecting Manhattan to Long Island
and uniting the diverse neighborhoods of our borough into one great
community we call Queens.
For the past 23 years, I’ve been at
the helm of the publishingship, steering it through the
changing waters of our time. The face of Queens has changed. So has
its heart and soul. It was wonderful back then. And it’s wonderful
now — only different.
In 1992 we declared on our front page,
“We Are The World.” As the most ethnically diverse place on earth,
we certainly have brought that World’s Fair spirit into the new
millennium. People from all corners of the globe now call Queens their
home. For the most part they live here, in our Queens — in their
Queens — in peace and harmony.
The face of Queens has changed since I
first came here. The empty spaces are gone and old-timers struggle to
keep the Queens they remember. The price of progress often impacts the
suburban lifestyle and “quality of life” has become a shibboleth
of community activists across the borough.
The new millennium has witnessed the
arrival of our borough’s two millionth resident. And as we grow, we
experience growing pains. Queens is maturing. Its growth is slowing.
Its heart is beating strongly. The soul of Queens – its people –
are strong, and varied and beautiful.
So, as we look back across the
millennium divide, we see not an aging borough, nor an aging newspaper
company, we see the legacy of wonder and riches that pave the way to
And we reach out to a new community in
Southeast Queens, extend our hand and hope to share that future with
We’d like to hear from you.
STYLE MANUAL: Consistency in writing is critical to its ease of understanding.
Therefore, style manuals are maintained to guide the writers.
Following the PRESS style manual will ensure clearly
written presentations. Below find 25 rules compiled from various
online sources on how to write well:
1. Always avoid
awkward, affected alliterations.
are not words to end sentences with.
3. Avoid clichés
like the plague.
4. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
7. It is wrong
to ever split an infinitive.
9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
10. One should
11. No sentence fragments.
are as bad as clichés.
13. Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
15. Be more or
16. Be careful
to use apostrophe’s correctly.
Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
20. The passive
voice is to be avoided.
21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
carefully to see whether you any words out.
23. While a
transcendent vocabulary is laudable, one must nevertheless keep
incessant surveillance against such loquacious, effusive, voluble
verbosity that the calculated objective of communication becomes
ensconced in obscurity.
run-on sentences they are hard to read and what you really should be
doing is using commas and semicolons and even periods to break the
sentence up into more digestible chunks.
25. And never
start a sentence with a conjunction.
PROOFREAD: Ultimately, errors at our paper are the responsibility of the editor.
She takes her job seriously and has the following over her desk:
“Always proofread carefully to see if you any words out.”
PUNCTUATION COUNTS: An English professor wrote the words “Woman without her man is a
savage” on the blackboard and directed his students to punctuate it
The men wrote: “Woman, without her
man, is a savage.”
The women wrote: “Woman! Without her,
man is a savage.”
REPORTER: A hot shot East Coast newspaper reporter was on assignment in West
Virginia when he struck up a conversation with a young lady in a bar.
After a half dozen drinks, he suggested they get their own bottle and
retire to his motel room. Surprisingly enough, she readily agreed.
“Say, how old are you anyway?” the
reporter asked as the obviously young lass was disrobing.
“Thirteen.” she replied with a shy
“Thirteen??? My God girl!!! You get
those clothes back on at once and get the hell outta here! Are you
crazy?” he thundered.
Pausing briefly at the door as she left,
the perplexed nymphet smiled and said, “Superstitious, huh ?”
QUESTION: We haven’t checked it out, though it seems plausible, here’s a
recent email inquiry circulating in cyberspace:
“Just for fun, try to identify this
outfit of over 500 employees with the following statistics:
29 have been accused of spousal abuse; 7
have been arrested for fraud; 19 have been accused of writing bad
checks; 117 have bankrupted at least two businesses; 3 have been
arrested for assault; 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit;
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges; 8 have been arrested
for shoplifting; 21 are current defendants in lawsuits; In 1998 alone,
84 were stopped for drunk driving.
ANSWER: “It’s the 535 members of your United States Congress – the same
group that perpetually cranks out hundreds upon hundreds of new laws
designed to keep the rest of us in line.”
SUCCESS: “Sir, what is the secret of your success?” a reporter asked a bank
“And, sir, what are they?”
“And how do you make right
“And, sir, what is that?”
“And how do you get experience?”
“And, sir, what are they?”
YOGI BERRA: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
LANGUAGE: A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day. “In
English,” he said, “A double negative forms a positive. In some
languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a
negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can
form a negative.”
A voice from the back of the room piped
up, “Yeah, right.”
TWO RULES FOR LIFE:
1.Don’t tell people everything you