I don’t make a habit of making my award public because I make a lot of mistakes myself and in any case I only hand it out privately so I can feel smug, but I just couldn’t let this go.

Writing in Kentucky News Review, Lu-Ann Farrar tells us that Peter Kraska, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University…now let’s just hold it there for a second while I try to work out where to start. To make things a bit clearer, I’ll italicise Lu-Ann’s words, at least the ones I think are hers.

Got that? Now, Ms Farrar writes that  the professor  told the Detroit Free Press that paramilitary troups [sic.] are being used more often in police situations. Now right there I’m puzzled. What’s a police situation, a job with the service? And do paramilitary services have entertainment units, even misspelled ones? She goes on: A Detroit imam, Luqman Ameen Abdullah, was arrested and shot by an elite FBI Hostage Rescue Team. Arrested and shot? In that order? She goes on: Abdullah is the first time a religious leader has been killed by government forces since… Abdullah is the first time? Wouldn’t “Abdullah’s is the first death of a religious leader at the hands of…” have been a little less confusing?

Then Ms Farrar quotes the professor: “We’ve seen…real serious problems with various SWAT tragedies…Real problems arise when it’s misapplied to the wrong circumstances.”

Doesn’t writing an article about something this serious warrant a little care?

I had intended to hand the award to one of the younger writers whose copy I edit, for her descriptive gem “the most rainy day of the year”,  but she was well and truly outclassed.

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Frank Povah

Frank Povah

Arriving in the USA in late 2008, Frank Povah moved to Stamping Ground, Kentucky in mid 2009. Passionate about the written and spoken word and constantly bewildered by non-verbs and neo-nouns, Frank trained as a typesetter - though he has worked at many things - and later branched out into proofreading, writing and editing. For many years he has been copy editor, consultant and columnist with a prestigious Australian quarterly along with running his own editorial and typesetting business. His other interests are many and include traditional music, especially that of the south, folklore, natural history, and pigeons.