If I were 22 again, I would have been better at my first real job—a community newspaper copy editor. Sure, I knew AP Style well enough, but I remember adding superfluous commas and editing mistakes into the copy. I was the last set of eyes before the paper went to bed, and I was drunk on power and punctuation.
To be fair, those mistakes were something no ordinary person would recognize. Only journalists know about the tricky closed quotation mark at the end of a long quote that continues into a new paragraph. And we still get that wrong. AP created that rule simply to trick people I think. Let me demonstrate.
“If I were 22 again, I wouldn’t have made dumb mistakes that could have been avoided by reading the AP Style book a little closer. Just one pass of that page in the stylebook would have been all it took to stop making that mistake for the next 3 years of my career, when I finally figured out what I’d been doing wrong.
“You see how I left off the quotes at the end of ‘wrong’? That’s the right way to do it.”
I guess everything worked out alright. I finally got my chance as a cub reporter covering cops and courts in my Dallas suburb, and worked my way up until I launched the company’s newest weekly publication. I was editor-in-chief of the largest circulation paper there at age 26. … At age 22, I really liked commas. Now at age 33, I like em dashes—like that one right there. Until I find out I’m using those wrong. For my own sake,–please, don’t tell me I’ve used my punctuation—wrong.
That’s what I just Googled. I found nothing but outdated Yelp results, all of which made me insanely #hangry.
Most people would move on. Normal people. Not me. I really want drive-through hot and sour soup. So I continued my search.
Make… soup…? No thanks.
Apparently mandarin chicken and pork have disappeared from Panda Express. A hot issue! But not my issue. I decide I’ll create a movement.
I’m shocked to find there’s not already a change.org petition on this. Aren’t other people equally as bothered by the elusiveness of hot and sour soup in Dallas?
This isn’t a new issue for me. As you can see below, I’d already tweeted @PandaExpress… and addressed my tweet to the Panda.
Yes, the date is November 2012.
Today I’m still in search of Panda Express Hot and Sour soup. Whenever I see one, I’m always tempted to pull in and check. But I’ve done the walk of shame out of the drive-through so many times, I’m not sure I can handle that kind of rejection again.
So, Internet blogosphere, if I may ask one thing of you, I ask that you kindly let me know if you ever find Hot and Sour Soup at a Dallas area Panda Express. I would be ever so grateful.
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