In his latest attack on the Peacheys, Editor of the Abbotsford News Andrew Holota seems to have lost his CP Style book or abandoned rules of grammar entirely.
Holota should bookmark the Unnecessary Quotes website to remind himself not to use quotation marks in such an offensive manner.
Offensive, that is, to the English language and those of his readers who use it. The use of quotation marks to provide emphasis or make a sly point the author lacks the courage to make outright is generally frowned upon by those who make regular use of the language.
In journalism school it is sometimes referred to in much the same way as the misuse of the exclamation point.
If you can’t make your ‘words’ convey the “meaning” you ‘intend’, don’t make up for it with “misuse” or ‘abuse’ of punctuation marks!!!
Take, for instance Holota’s latest attack on Richard and Gerda Peachey. Now we at Today Media Group have had our disagreements with the Peacheys over the years and they with us. Like much of what makes those in the old media uncomfortable about Today Media, it has all been out in the open and there for all to see.
It is what’s known in most communities as public debate.
We have also made our share of grammatical errors. Our visitors usually pounce and help us stay true to the language, but suffice it to say, we do not claim to be experts in the use of the language.
We do, however, make every attempt to avoid allowing any of our mistakes to be seen as somehow shaping the public debate by inserting meaning to words and statements by cheap and tawdry use of punctuation.
While government has largely abandoned the idea of legislating morality or religious dogma, most cities have some form of community standards bylaw, a good neighbour bylaw or some form of legal requirement about the use of public facilities for purposes the city deems to be offensive.
If, for instance, a group of religion-hating anarchists wanted to rent a City-owned facility in order to hold a barbaric display of pagan animal sacrifice rituals, city officials would fall back on their bylaw and refuse the show. And most citizens would agree with them.
This would not keep the group from renting a private facility and hold their show (risking whatever punishment for breaking any other laws which apply to their show), but it would protect taxpayers, who own the City, from being legally responsible for something which occurred in their facility.
It also enforces a version of morality in publicly owned buildings that is supposed to reflect community standards.
Hence the argument for a community standards, good neighbour or morality bylaw at least when renting out publicly-owned facilities.
As with many aspects of democracy which escape those who need things in stark black, white, and simple to understand the answer to the question, ‘What is offensive?’, is not clear cut and simple. It will inevitably lead to argument and discussion. This does not make the issue one to be ignored simply because of the difficulty some may have in wrapping their heads around it.
As some councillors (Henry Braun, Dave Loewen) have correctly decided, the citizens of Abbotsford are far better served by an open and honest discussion of the rules we already have in place than by suggesting we have none and claiming the Peacheys are somehow attempting to create new rules.
The fact is we already have the rules Holota is asking about in his online poll. The Peacheys and others are merely asking Banman and the City to live up to their own established rules.
By asking his readers if they think we should establish a set of rules we already have, Holota is either being disingenuous or he actually doesn’t know his question is misleading and makes no sense.
Either way, he really should stop his ‘offensive’ use of “Punctuation Marks” to make his points! (Especially!! When he’s ‘wrong’)
Samples of the morality rules we already have
Good Neighbour Bylaw 2.7
No Person shall:
(f) swear or use indecent, obscene, blasphemous or grossly insulting language on or about a Highway or Other Public Place;
(g) carry on any obscene, lewd or indecent activity on a Highway or Other Public Place;
AESC License Agreement
Page 12 of the License Agreement Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre signed between GLOBAL SPECTRUM FACILITY MANAGEMENT, L.P. as agent on behalf of the Corporation of the City of Abbotsford (hereinafter “licensor”) and LINGERIE FOOTBALL LEAGUE, LLC., (STATE OF NEVADA) DATED Feb. 14/12 contains this moral clause under the heading Compliance With Laws and Facility Rules:
B. Morals Clause. Licensee shall not use or attempt to use any part of the Facility for any use or proposed use which would be contrary to law, common decency or good morals or otherwise improper or detrimental to the reputation of Licensor.
Operation and Management Agreement
In the FACILITY OPERATION AND MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT: THE CITY OF ABBOTSFORD – AND- GLOBAL SPECTRUM FACILITY MANAGEMENT, L.P. dated Sept. 1/08
ARTICLE 7: GENERAL USE OF THE FACILITY 7.1.3 Without limiting in any way the generality of the Section 7.1.2, no part of the Facility may be used for:
(a) the sale of cigarettes or tobacco;
(b) the sale of obscene or pornographic material;
(c) the sale of paraphernalia or other material that promotes the use of illegal drugs or other illegal substances; or
(d) the sale of products or services that promote, or the dominate characteristic of which is violence or the exploitation of sex.