Letter to The Editor

Asbarez–October 23 2002

To the Editor:

In reference to the above mentioned–I rejoiced–at first–reading on page one (in Armenian) about Wales’ s intentions to recognize the Armenian Genocide. However–when I got to the English section–I was totally outraged to read–in bold characters–that the country called Wales had suddenly been labeled Whales in the article’s title as well as at several other spots in the text itself. Note that these serious errors on your part are a real insult to your readership’s intelligence–and most particularly to the Welsh people.

I am wondering whether you really know the proper meaning of the word–"Whales," otherwise–I would strongly recommend that you consult–immediately–your English dictionary. Note that this grave error on your part reflects either your lack of proficiency in the English language–in which case I could only blame those who have selected you for the position that you hold–or alternatively your aversion for any type of quality assurance procedure–e.g.–review–edit–spell check–grammar–etc…

It appears that you are blindly inserting in your English section any type of garbage that is being mailed to you.

Please note that like the rest of your subscribers–I have high esteem and respect for ASBAREZ–particularly when you are reiterating–in plain English–that it is indeed "a Publication of the ARF Western USA Central Committee." Therefore–under no circumstances can we tolerate that the quality of our publication go downhill as–unfortunately–present and past records seem to indicate. Should you be unable to redress the current situation–it would be advisable to inform your peers about it and submit your resignation–and the sooner the better.

In my opinion–it is mandatory that the article that has been the subject of this discussion gets republished after going through a re-editing process. Furthermore–an apology addressed to your readership ought to be–absolutely–inserted at the bottom of the text.

Thank you for your attention.

Dr. A. B. Gureghian

Dear Dr. Gureghian,

First–apologies for the utter consternation we seem to have caused you. Thank you–also–for your impassioned defense of the English language and the honor of Asbarez–the ARF Central Committee–our readership–and the noble people of Wales and their homeland. I’d like to assure you–however–that we have not attacked any of them–nor ever intend to.

Be assured–also–that the hardworking staff of Asbarez has as much interest as any of our readers in defending the quality of Asbarez. Accordingly–and contrary to your assertion–we read–select–and edit for grammar–usage–style–and logic all items printed in the Asbarez English section (including your letter) to ensure that they conform to standard United States usage of English. When necessary–we refer to the usual references–including my favorite–Strunk & White’s The Elemen’s of Style.

I assure you that I was mortified to have allowed "Whales," as opposed to "Wales," to appear in the headline–dateline and introduction of the article. Even in the best of papers–however (even those fully staffed)–typographical errors occur. (I’d suggest a close reading of the New York Times–for example.) Our "grave" error–therefore–reflects neither our "lack of proficiency in the English language" nor "aversion for?quality assurance"–unfortunately–the only two possibilities you allowed. Let me suggest a third: the equally unfortunate fact that we are at the moment short-staffed and consistently crunched for time–and therefore cannot yet achieve perfection–however much we strive for it.

I hope that you continue to closely read the English section of the Asbarez and also notice the changes (for the better) that have taken place in recent months and will continue to take place in the coming months.

As always–we more than welcome constructive criticism and all suggestions from our readers for improving the Asbarez English section.

Maral Habeshian–Editor


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