12 April 2008

When Punctuation Is Pejorative

Mark Twain once said that clothes make the man. As a writer, I imagine he had some notion that punctuation makes the sentence (hint: he did).

In a recent article, Christian Post Correspondent Alexander J. Sheffrin reports on a policy in the Town of Ithaca, NY which allows same-sex couples many of the same rights as married couples. While I have no illusions about media bias (hint: it exists in some form everywhere), I was a little surprised at the article above.

Did you notice it? When the author refers to any possible union between same-sex couples, the word marriage is put into quotation marks. Still think sarcasm doesn't carry through to the written word?

I'm not interested in reading too much into Sheffrin's stance on gay marriage (hint: he doesn't believe in it). I'm not interested in being shy about my stance on the issue (hint: gay couples should have equal marriage rights). I am interested in a form of "journalism" a little less ham-fistedly pejorative, even when "reporting" the opposing side of an issue.

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