Back to Grammar School | Letters | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » Letters

Back to Grammar School


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


I know you don't like to trample on people's prose, and I appreciate that you accept articles from no-names, but sometimes you need to spill the editor's ink. Or, I've known that you don't like to trample on people's prose, and I've appreciated that you accept articles from no-names, but sometimes you'll need to spill the editor's ink.

There you have two ways of saying the same thing, though one incorporates useless tense. The front-page article "Which Side Are They On?" [April 16] began: "I'd realized." And in the first column alone continues: "Mary had passed"... "we'd been warned"..."She'd opted"..."I'd been offered". And in between this sensless, snaggling use of the past perfect (where "I realized" or "we were warned" is adequate), the author whimsically jumps in and out of various stages of the past. Then, starting at the second part of the story, he throws it all away. It was like reading a fifth-grader's story about time travel.

Finally, after skimming for a while, I stopped on page 22 because an ironic ad for the Feltre School, which read "Enroll in our intensive English grammar review today," completely stole my attention.

Additionally (on a more subjective note), the storyteller's smugness throughout the beginning leaks his inevitable resolution and precludes any satisfaction it might have given.

Otherwise, good work.

Jonathon Simpson

Wicker Park

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment