Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 1:42PM EST
Here’s a little quiz.
An article on four financial advisers asks their advice about putting together a lasting RRSP strategy. Two of them are described as married with children. The other two have no reference to marital status or children.
Can you guess the gender of the first two? You are correct if you said both are women.More »
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 3:27PM EST
The words you choose matter, and there were two examples this week that have provoked debate.
After this story about the arrest of suspected Mexican “drug lord” Joaquin (El Chapo) Guzman, a reader asked The Globe and Mail to “please stop referring to gangsters as ‘lords’, ‘kingpins’, ‘barons’, etc. These labels serve to reinforce the idea that these people have some claim to nobility. There is nothing noble about them. They are vicious gangsters, thieves and murderers.”More »
Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 2:49PM EST
With Monday morning’s final list of Sochi Olympics medal standings, a few readers have written in complaining that The Globe and Mail chose an inferior way to rank the countries.
One reader said a front-page retraction was in order: “The front page of the Globe, Feb. 24, shows a ‘Medal Standings’ table. It is actually showing the total medal count. Medal standings are ranked by the number of gold medals won, followed by silver, then bronze. Google ‘medal standings Sochi’ and the Google results show Canada ranked third with 10 gold medals behind Russia (13) and Norway (11). The U.S. places fourth with 9. Canada also beat the U.S. in silver medals with 10 versus 7. C’mon Globe, give credit where credit’s due!”More »
Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 5:40PM EST
“I suppose the intent was to shock, but you crossed the line.” That is what one unhappy reader had to say about a photo on Wednesday’s front page.
And his complaint wasn’t the only one. The image of a man enveloped in flames amid the protest outside Ukraine’s parliament certainly was jarring. But did it really cross the line?More »
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 3:58PM EST
A reader asked this week why The Globe and Mail doesn’t use the official Olympic method of ranking countries when presenting medal counts.
The Globe’s ranking is based on the total number of medals. In the case of a tie, the nod goes to whichever country has more gold, then silver, then bronze.
The Olympics ranking is based on the most gold medals won. In the case of a tie, more silver medals takes the next ranking.More »
Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 8:00AM EST
Try this little test. Look at the photo above of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and some of his staff standing by a plane holding hockey sticks. Is Mr. Harper actually holding a hockey stick too? Why does it appear to be floating behind his hand?
Would you think that it is a bit odd or would you leap instantly to the conclusion that the picture was Photoshopped to make it look as though the PM was holding a hockey stick?More »
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 11:12AM EST
My favourite part of the Olympics Games are the human stories behind the medal counts and athleticism.
This year, so far, we have read a wonderful story by Roy MacGregor about the Dufour-Lapointe sisters, who put that bond ahead of competition and everything else.
Then there was the heart-warming story by Allan Maki about the Canadian coach who gave a despondent Russian cross-country skier a new ski after his shattered in competition.More »
Thursday, Feb. 06, 2014 1:02PM EST
When the subject of grammar is raised, get ready to duck. Now that I’ve read all 500-plus e-mails on readers’ grammatical pet peeves, I would like to turn to criticisms about my initial column on grammar.
In it, I referred to readers who sent me notes about such errors in The Globe and Mail over the past year. A few other readers raised excellent points about lapses in that column and also some others in that same day’s newspaper. So, mea culpa!More »
Tuesday, Feb. 04, 2014 11:44AM EST
Last Friday, a blog on natural ways to keep the flu at bay written by an alternative-medicine specialist garnered criticism on social media and in the story comments.
The blog suggested a variety of solutions that the writer, who has a diploma in homeopathic medicine, felt could either help to prevent contracting the flu or mitigate the symptoms. The blog was criticized by medical professionals on a number of points and most said it missed the key advice that what really works is the flu vaccine.More »
Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 2:39PM EST
Last Saturday, the news section included an article on Olympics design. The article was about the design of the Richmond Olympic Oval, built for the Vancouver Games. But a sidebar caused some confusion from a few readers.
The sidebar included a reference to an app and also to sponsorship by a car company.More »
Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 11:13AM EST
Last Saturday, I wrote about readers’ pet peeves on grammatical errors and I invited other readers to send me theirs.
A reader in Victoria said: “You will probably regret the flood of e-mails you will get after inviting readers to write to you about grammar. The few drops I would like to add are about consecutive prepositions, specifically ending in ‘of’. It seems to be standard Globe style to write that the farm is outside of town or the bowl fell off of the table. http://motivatedgrammar.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/on-off-of/ hypothesizes that it may have started with the Rolling Stones’ Get Off Of My Cloud.More »
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 4:48PM EST
The death of so many seniors at the home in L’Isle-Verte is an almost unimaginable tragedy for the entire community and, of course, all of the friends and family members of those who died or are missing.More »
Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 5:17PM EST
The English language is tough to master – apparently even for those paid to write and edit it. Yes, that means newspaper pros. And readers notice when they get it wrong. They contact me about misplaced homophones, apostrophes and spelling errors.
Bad grammar, however, tops readers’ lists of pet peeves: Herewith, the five most common complaints, as seen in stories by The Globe and Mail this year.More »
Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 3:34PM EST
I received a note from a reader concerned about the overall coverage of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Israel. This reader felt there was too much said about the federal government’s message and not enough counter-balance. He also objected to what he called the insistent use of the phrase “the Jewish community.”More »
Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 3:11PM EST
KenKen will be back one week today.
When it first appeared in The Globe and Mail, it was described as “an addictive puzzle” and it turns out it was just that for many readers.
After a decision to delete the puzzle (and the horoscope and several other features) to save space for Globe journalism, I heard from more than 250 readers. The largest number and the most passionate writers were in favour of KenKen. Most of those who wanted the horoscope back understood that they could receive the same information for free online here. But a puzzle just can’t be done online and so print is really the only option. I’ve been told it is a good warm up to Sudoku, a great math puzzle and a wonderful and fun way to engage your children in math.More »
Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 1:22PM EST
All readers will have their own preferences, but in my view, there are a number of features newspapers do that work equally well in the paper and online. Some, such as multimedia projects, video, obviously, or stories that cause a vigorous online debate, work better on the web.
And then there are the puzzles. I do Sudoku, and although I’ve tried it online, it’s not nearly as satisfying as doing it on paper, where you can take your time and come back to it, or add small numbers in until you figure it out.More »
Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 1:28PM EST
I heard from a reader yesterday who was very critical of this Globe article and headline saying Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says Conservatives should decriminalize marijuana.
The reader’s views? He called the headline inaccurate and said: “The actual quotation in the story is, ‘Why wouldn’t they at least decriminalize it and try to get revenue from it?’ So, first of all, this is a question and not an assertion that Ford made. Surely even the people at the Globe know the difference between a question and a statement. But, alas, perhaps they don’t.More »
Thursday, Jan. 09, 2014 1:10PM EST
Great photo captions are like poetry, or a funny tweet. They grab your attention with few words, make you think and with luck do it with humour or insight.
I’ve written before about the importance and impact of a great headline. I pointed to a survey of reading habits called the EyeTrack study by the U.S. Poynter Institute, which found (by tracking where the eyes go on a page) that readers love photos in newspapers. Their eyes “followed a common pattern of navigation. The majority of readers entered all pages through the dominant photo or illustration, then travelled to the dominant headline, then to teasers and cutlines, and finally to the text.”More »
Tuesday, Jan. 07, 2014 1:27PM EST
In the newspaper, readers generally understand the difference between news reporting and commentary. Comments and opinions are either set up differently with a columnist's picture or grouped together on comment pages.
Online is a trickier proposition.
If you come in to a story through the front door by clicking on the Opinion page, you will see articles which are clearly comment. Even if you come in through the back door, i.e. through a link or Facebook or Twitter, those same news opinions include the label Globe Debate at the top left-hand corner.More »
Friday, Jan. 03, 2014 12:23PM EST
When is a news photo of a politician an unfair choice and when does it back up the point of an article?
A reader in Calgary wondered why the photo above was chosen to go with a comment article on the problem with Canada’s foreign policy.
“Why would you show PM Harper yawning instead of any of the numerous other facial expressions a human face offers?” the reader wondered. “The benign expression of the two ministers behind him might be appropriate. Maybe even an expression of him smiling, or indicating incredulous or reflection.More »