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Dear Colleagues:

Yesterday I discovered an editorial in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal
newspaper that illustrates the challenge the problem we have been
discussing.

AN EXPENSIVE MISTAKE

        The Houston City government spent $5,165 to print booklets about the
mayor's youth programs, and the booklets had to be recalled and thrown away
because of numerous misspellings, grammatical goofs and punctuation errors.
        The Houston Chronicle reported that the 14-page booklet was written by the
major's director for youth services -- who has a $67,000-a-year job.
        Nearly every page of the booklet contained errors, including fragmentary
and incomprehensible sentences, misspellings and other flubs.  Misspelled
words included "millennium," "national," "library" and "teaches."
        City Councilman Orlando Sanchez told the Chronicle, "I was horrified.  It
touts education, but the number of fragmentary sentences and misspellings
were astounding."
        The situation is one of incompetence, not just in the person who wrote the
heavily flawed booklet but in the establishment of a system that allows for
$5,165 in printing costs to be committed with apparently no effort
whatsoever for proofreading.  And does the director of youth services not
have a spell-check function on her computer?
        The situation should cause cities to re-examine their employment
qualifications as well as their policies regarding the functions of city
offices.  Maybe such scrutiny it could help other cities to avoid similar
problems.

Note:  I have reproduced this editorial exactly as it appeared in the
newspaper.  I can hardly wait for the flood of letters to the editor that
are sure to follow.  Might the phrase "physician heal thyself" apply?

Comments?

Don Garnett