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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 21, 2011 / 19 Sivan, 5771

We Do This Every Day

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | stet -- verb (Latin, let it stand): to annotate with the word stet to nullify a previous order to delete or omit (a word or passage in a manuscript or printer's proof). First known use: 1875

-- From Webster's

Some things an editor does every weekday, and often enough on nights and weekends. It goes with the territory, which is that of a daily newspaper.

This ain't no quarterly.

One of those things is reading page proofs. Repeatedly. Because it's remarkable what will escape an editor's attention the first time. Or even the second. Or more. You ought to see some of the looks I used to get from harried linotype operators, who now have been succeeded by harried paginators. ("What, you again?") Or maybe you oughtn't. They're not pretty.

But if Gentle Reader is going to spend his time reading the paper, the least we can do is make sure our copy is clean. We owe you that much respect. Every. Single. Day.

Or as Earl Weaver, the long-time manager of the Baltimore Orioles, once said: "This ain't a football game, we do this every day." It's not the high points or low that count in certain endeavors, or even the perfection achieved on rarest occasion, but the regularity of the effort.

There are still lots of good writers in this business and obsession. It's the good editor, the proofreader who cares, the paginator who can interpret an editor's scrawled hieroglyphics, and correct his mistakes without introducing his own, who's the rarity.

But good editing goes largely unrecognized, which is as it should be.

Editing should be inconspicuous, like any expert repair job. It is bad editing that strikes the eye -- like a right hook.

The world is full of the verbally incontinent Thomas Wolfes who can turn out an indigestible mass of words and emotions -- even fuller of them in this era of Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and who knows what's next.

It was Maxwell Perkins, Wolfe's editor, who could take an interminable mass of verbiage and make it literature. Editing is a subsidiary art, but it can be the greater one. Because it's not just inspiration, it's perspiration. It is the perseverance, the durability, the regularity of it that impresses. Much like Lou Gehrig, the original Iron Man, batting after Babe Ruth every day. Imagine the literary giant David Foster Wallace might have been if he'd had a Max Perkins to prune and trim and improve his logorrheic prose.

Inspiration may last for a moment; it's sustaining interest, day after day, year after year, that's the trick. The way Glenn Gould played Bach, even if he would despise the Goldberg Variations he recorded in 1955 by the time he did his remake in 1981. Critics still debate which they prefer. I vote for both. For there are varieties of excellence just as there are, as William James discovered, varieties of religious experience.

Glenn Gould's legacy is not the result of superhuman effort but of very human attention. And intention. And daily dedication.

It's the constancy of purpose that makes great music, baseball, foreign policy and newspapers. It's not the exceptional moments, prized as they are, that determine excellence but the quality of the performance over a whole season. As with symphony orchestras.

Maybe that's why, to those of us of an obsessive temperament, the greatest record in major league baseball isn't the number of home runs hit or winning games pitched, but the one unmatched and maybe unmatchable feat in those friendly confines: Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak from May 15 to July 17 of 1941 in that last, golden peacetime summer before Pearl Harbor. Also known simply as The Streak.

The Yankee Clipper was the most beautiful of ballplayers, whether loping across center field or taking that unmistakable wide stance at the plate that was his hallmark. But his greatest achievement was the regularity of his effort, his steady focus day in, day out. In 56 consecutive games.

The Streak began without being announced. No one could know this was the beginning of something great, and it ended as undramatically as it began -- a grounder to shortstop. (Lou Boudreau of the Cleveland Indians, who turned it into a double play.)

The next day, DiMaggio would pick up his bat and proceed to hit in 16 more straight games. He was a ballplayer, not a wonder worker. He did this every day.

Richard Wilbur, my nomination for the greatest living American poet, has just published a new collection. In a different era, such an event would have been as heralded as the appearance of a new volume of Robert Frost's poetry. Now it goes almost unnoticed. As if Richard Wilbur did this every day. Which he doubtless does.

Much like Frost, Wilbur is the poet of the natural, the apolitical, of small dappled things. Perfection is a pagan notion of beauty. It is the celebration of the imperfect, the everyday, at which Richard Wilbur excels.

And so sanctifies it. Which is what gives us marred, imperfect souls saving hope. The poet can give even ordinary proofreader's shorthand an air of the holy, as in his little poem, "The Proof" --

Shall I love God for causing me to be?

I was mere utterance; shall these words love me?

Yet when I caused his work to jar and stammer,

And one free subject loosened all his grammar,

I love him that he did not in a rage

Once and forever rule me off the page,

But, thinking I might come to please him yet,

Crossed out delete and wrote his patient stet.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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