Is it reasonable to expect that newspaper writers and editors should have an above-average grasp of grammar and simple word definitions, or is this wishful thinking?
The following headlines appeared in the local section of the May 24 Idaho Statesman: “Historic Idaho Site, Site of brutal 1863 battle pinpointed, Up to 500 Shoshone died in Bear River Massacre, Ancestors of the dead say they already knew location.”
So you’re saying then that relatives who lived prior to 1863 are still around to comment on the location? Or are you saying that those relatives who lived prior to 1863 were precognizant of the massacre, a la “Minority Report”? Either way, you might want to crack a dictionary and compare the words “ancestor” and “descendant.”
And then in the May 30 Statesman we read the following headline for a guest opinion on patriotism? “We owe a debt to our sacrificing and brave U.S. descendants.” The article then speaks of the Founding Fathers, those who fought in the Civil War, World War II and others in the past.
Apparently, confusion about the definitions of these two words is running rampant these days in the hallowed halls of the Idaho Statesman. Please try to be a little more scholarly.
Neil Parker, Boise