Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Until his death in 1940, my father would find his copy of The Times on the table when he came down to breakfast. Woe betide anyone who opened it up before he did. If it were not in its pristine shape when he sat down, he would complain that it must have been "woman handled". (I can only remember that happening once: i and my sisters wouldn't have dared to disturb the newspaper, and my mother would have been content with her copy of the Daily Express. ) I'm sure the butler (when we had one) and parlourmaid were innocent: perhaps it was an aunt visiting us. I also like a paper whose pages can be kept neat. The number of pages in the "old days" could always be divided by four. I dislike it when the paper includes two sides of a single sheet, which tends to fall out. Worse still is when a half-sheet is included. But recently I have noticed a new gimmick: an extra wide page, usually with an advertising message on the part that sticks out. One simply can't fold that neatly. I'm writing this in Colorado, where our newspaper is the Boulder Daily Camera. The wider pages haven't started appearing here yet. I suppose I should be grateful that we can still buy a print edition, but the paper disappoints me in several ways, apart from the paucity of international news. Today, one headline mis-spelled the location of Nik Wallenda's tightrope walking as "Niagra". Another headline referred to a "lein", instead of a"lien". I'm not an ardent sports fan, but I do follow our Northern California baseball and football teams. I can understand it when in a different time zone the paper goes to press before the details of a night game can be printed, but better papers publish the box scores the following day. When Matt Cain pitched his historic "perfect game", San Francisco's first ever, the news of it was printed in the next day's paper, but the box score wasn't, then or on the following day.