Over the years we have tried to stay ahead of all the various issues that may pop up from time to time. And although there have been times in the past when we found it somewhat tricky to keep up with everything, we feel that we reached a new high, or possibly low, in issue overload this past week.
When we read a letter to the editor in last week’s paper we were somewhat stunned to be accused of being “demeaning and dismissive” because we had referred to fellow citizens as “a crowd.” We must admit that we have never thought being referred to as a crowd was considered to be a bad thing. And a check of the online dictionary still included the definition for “crowd” as being of “a group of people united by a common characteristic, as age, interest, or vocation.” In fact, we can remember when being in the in-crowd was the in thing to do. But it is possible, with the continual change of the English language, there is a nuance to “crowd” of which we are not aware.
That being said, however, we think it is important to note, that in writing the column of Oct. 17, we did not use the word “crowd.” The word “crowd” only appears in the headline which, we hasten to point out, was added by the newspaper after we filed the column. In fact, we think it is obvious that we did not write the headline “Anti-fracking crowd still mystifies me” because the headline is written in the first person. And since we started writing this column in 1984, it has always been written in the third person. Thus, had we written the headline it would have read “Anti-fracking crowd still mystifies us.” So while we regret that the writer of the letter was upset, we feel he should really take the matter up with the newspaper.