December 14, 2004

Complain a little, in a kindly fashion, of course.

Yesterday, i headed home to spend the day with my family. It was an afternoon of ornament getting, tromping through the mud, and four wheeling in our Jeep, trying to get through the fields of Christmas trees. We got a tree, its too damn small, we are all in agreement on that topic, however, thats not what this entry is about. I was reading the newspaper, as i often do when i go home, and i came across a very interesting article.

I immediately decided to blog it, seeing as how it has something to do with blogs, and i haven't blogged in awhile for lack of a topic. This article was in the Valley News Dispatch, so when i got back to school, i went online, to their website to search for it. First, i tried clicking on certain links, and pretty much just playing around, well to be able to look at anything, the site informed me i would have to register. Ha. I didn't want to register for anything, however there was no way for me to view anything without registering. I gave up, after searching numerous times for anything related to that article, both on the papers site and on google, i gave up. Well, i tried again today, and was left in frustration once again, no freakin answers yet again. I did end up registering, couldn't find anything, and as soon as i hit the back arrow on my tool bar, i couldn't get back to view anything. I tried, and i inserted my email address as stated, but it didn't go through, and i wasn't taking the time to register again. I ended up clicking on contact us, a link that lead me to a page where all of the VND's employees are listed, along with email addresses. I emailed the general manager, and not only did i get a response, but i got that article too.

**Frustrated over VND online...help. **

Lori Rupert to kcawley More options Dec 13 (21 hours ago)

Mr Cawley

Hello, my name is Lori Rupert. I am a student at Seton Hill
University. My parents subscribe to the Valley News Dispatch, and when
i was home, i was reading the paper. I came across an article i found
very interesting, it was "Dictionaries make "blog" entry. It was in
the December 12, 2004 issue of the paper. I have a weblog here at
school, and i was excited to see this article thinking that i would
come back to school and post an entry about this article, linking of
course to the VND online presentation of the said article. I went to
the VND website, and it wouldn't let me look at anything without
registering. I didn't want to register, so i gave up, however, today i
tried to find the article again, and i registered, and i searched and
searched and cannot find this article anywhere online. Did you just
not put it online? I am not sure how to get to the older issues of the
paper online either. That is not clear to me. I would really like this
article so i can post about it on my weblog, i would appreciate your
assistance, if there is anything you can do for me. Either help me to
figure out how to find older issues of the paper, or send me a link to
the article or something. Anything would be appreciated, i have grown
extremely frustrated over this issue.


**The response**

Jeff Domenick to me, Kraig
More options Dec 13 (20 hours ago)

Dear Lori,

My boss passed along your e-mail.

Iím sorry your VND Web site experience didnít go well. The problem was the blog story was written by the Associated Press, not one of our staffers. Under our agreement with the A.P., weíre not permitted to publish their stories on our Web site. If you read the VND site regularly, you will see the only stories are ones locally produced.

But since you wasted some time in a hopeless effort, Iíve included a copy of the story with this e-mail. Please see below.

And thanks for registering on our site and providing us with this feedback. Info about what our Web readers like and donít like plays a role in the content of our page. I hope youíll stop back and visit our site again soon.

Jeff Domenick

Editor

Valley News Dispatch

**What you have all been waiting for**

Archived NewsFront Story

This story was published 12/12/2004 by the Lifestyles desk.

Dictionary-Top Words

From blogs to cicadas: 2004's most looked-up words follow the headlines

@byline:By Trudy Tynan

@bycredit:The Associated Press

@bodycopy:SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ó<$>The most requested online definition this year was "blog" ó a word not even in the dictionary, Merriam-Webster says.

Editors had planned to include "blog" ó the short term for Web log ó in the 2005 annual update of the print and online versions of Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary, said Arthur Bicknell, spokesman for the dictionary publisher.

But in face of demand, the company quickly added an early definition to some of its online sites, defining "blog" as "a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments and often hyperlinks provided by the writer."

Typically, it takes 20 years of usage for a word to become prominent enough to merit a place in an abridged dictionary. Some Internet terms and new diseases, such as AIDS and SARS, have made it in a fraction of that time.

"Blog" began appearing in newspapers and magazines in 1999, according to the publisher's records. Merriam's lexicographers suspect the prominence blogs attained during the presidential campaigns and conventions this year sent people scrambling for a definition.

"It does sometimes happen that words in the headlines so grab people's attention that they become a most-frequently-looked-up word," said John M. Morse, president and publisher of Springfield-based Merriam-Webster.

Right behind "blog" in popularity on Merriam's year-end list were "incumbent" and "electoral." Other words on the list touched on the war in Iraq, storms, bicycle races and even the emergence of insects on a 17-year cycle: In fourth place was "insurgent," followed by "hurricane," "cicada" and "peloton." The eighth and ninth spots were taken by "partisan" and "sovereignty."

Bicknell said the company's Web sites get 10 lookup requests per second on average, and more than 100 per second during peak hours.

@ReferHead:Learn more

http://www.Merriam-Webster.com


Posted by Lori Rupert at December 14, 2004 11:33 AM
Comments

There's an art to writing a polite letter that requests help... you obviously hit the right tone.

Anyone else who would like their own e-mail to have a chance of succeeding like Lori's did might want to take a look at this handout:

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/e-text/e-mail.htm

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at December 14, 2004 06:37 PM

Way'd be, Lori :-) I know it's corny, but my mother always tells me that you can get more with honey than you can with vinegar. How true, how true.

Additionally, since we get the same hometown newspaper, I can vouch for the AP articles not being printed. If you googled it, I'll bet it'd pop up a couple hundred times, though.

Posted by: Karissa at December 14, 2004 07:34 PM

Nope, actually it doesn't. I tried that too, but to no avail, guess AP only appears in the paper portion of the VND.

Posted by: Lori at December 15, 2004 01:10 AM

I know the top picture under your calendar is more you :-), but I like the second pic better. Could you bring it up higher underneath the other one?

Posted by: Amanda at December 16, 2004 04:48 PM
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