Let me preface this post by saying that the title is not sarcasm. There is a lot of joy in journalism, but it’s often a kind of joy that’s not given. You have to make it yourself.

Journalism inevitably comes with criticism. No matter how fair, how balanced, how mild a story, someone will be peeved. These are truths of the trade.

I wrote an innocent little weather story last week about strong winds the area was experiencing. And of course windy weather + trees + powerlines = power outages. You can probably guess the story’s content.

Today, I walked into the newsroom to find this gem on my desk. It’s from a reader named James who apparently writes to the sports section often.

A piece of my fanmail

If you can’t tell from the photo, he apparently used a typewriter to write me this message: “There is no such word as OUTAGE many years ago there was a huge power FAILURE The edlectric company called that an ‘outage’ No one know what outage means, so they didn’t know there was a POWER FAILRE FAILURE Never again use OUTAGE ”

It’s written on the back of a card with a nativity scene. Because, folks, Jesus wouldn’t use the word ‘outage.’  If the Star of Bethlehem had gone out, the holy scripture most certainly would have called it a star failureLet’s be honest.

Note, the hilariously inappropriate (and misspelled) sticker on the nativity scene that reads: “Goundhog day is National Chess Day Mate someone that day!”

Uh, what are you trying to say James?

Unfortunately, the dictionary wins out on this one, making outage a word that means a period of time when there is no electricity in a building or area. Which is basically what I was writing about.

Thank you, James, for your honest feedback. Next time there is a power failure, I’ll be sure to keep you in mind.

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