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Today's word on

Monday, August 23, 2004

"Some newspapers really want you to read them. There is a corkboard hanging over the urinals in the Marriott lobby men's room, and front pages of the four sections of USA Today are pinned to the cork. Being able to read USA Today while peeing is the ultimate marriage of form and function."

--Harry Shearer, comedian,


From the desk of media guru Ted Pease

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM was born in 1996 as a means of persuading my students at USU to check their email regularly for class assignments.

The WORD is a daily squib about journalism, language and writing, free expression and constitutional liberties. The, um, email "service" grew from a few dozen university student-victims in 1996 to about 1,600 volunteer subscribers today.

While some of the WORD's current victims are still my current and former students, most are grown-up volunteers who should know better: businesspeople, writers and journalists from Tokyo to Bangor, Maine; PR executives; lawmakers; NPR anchors; book authors; poets, boatbuilders, wordsmiths and my mom.

The WORD appears on email weekdays during the academic year, but is carted off for unvoluntary commitment at the St. Mumbles Home for the Unremittingly Verbose during the summer. And, as you can see, the WORD also appears year-round on The Hard News Cafe, the award-winning student news website at Utah State University. A book is in the works -- and has been for eight years, so don't hold your breath.

If you would like to join the growing numbers of eager but misguided WORD subscribers (it's free!), simply email and ask to subscribe. Or if you know someone who you think would like to be afflicted, send that email address and watch the fun begin!

WORD in the news:

Magazine touts USU journalism professor's 'Words of Wisdom'

Copyright 1997-2004 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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