Rolled into work on Thursday morning and, as I try to do most days, got started by flipping through both our paper and the Gazette-Times.
I do that for a few reasons:
– It’s kind of a good warmup activity, the editorial equivalent of jogging a lap around the track or executing a few jumping jacks.
– It lowers the odds that I might somehow run something in a weekend paper that’s already been published in that day’s editions.
– When readers call and want to discuss one story or another, it gives me a fighting chance of knowing what they’re talking about; readers tend to assume everyone here has top-of-mind-awareness of every single item in every single edition, and we don’t, but there’s no doubt that more awareness is better than less awareness, so I do make an effort in that regard.
Anyway, on Thursday morning one of the things that caught my eye was a page 2 photo of three police officers taking a guy in a Grim Reaper T-shirt into custody outside the DHS office in Albany.
The cutline — newspaper lingo for caption — said police had received a call saying the suspect had “pushed and shoved” a case worker.
“Hey Karen,” I asked our city editor, Karen Petersen. “What’s the difference between pushing and shoving.”
“Well, they seem like pretty much the same thing,” she said. “But if I had to distinguish, I’d say a push involved really loading up and making contact with someone with both hands, whereas a shove would be something lighter than that.”
“That’s funny,” I said, “because if I had to distinguish, I’d have probably said just the opposite.”
“As I started staying that,” she said, “I was going to say the opposite too, and then I changed my mind. I really don’t know what the difference is. Let’s look it up.”
Turns out, unsurprisingly, that in that usage there is no difference between push and shove. One word is used to define the other.
“It’s interesting, though,” I said, “because people always say pushing and shoving. They go together.”
I point all this out certainly not to make fun of the people who wrote and edited the cutline, because I’m not perfect either. And like everyone else, the closer the clock ticks to deadline and the busier I get, the more apt I am to make a mistake. Also, the closer we get to deadline, the fewer people there are around to catch those errors.
That’s how I happened, in the Sunday paper, to attribute a “super moon” photo to the Associated Press rather than DH photographer Mark Ylen. Sorry about that, Mark.
Here’s another look at that photo, taken Saturday evening over by the old Clover Ridge school: