From the assistant editor

2 do’s

Wed, 05/26/2021 - 9:00am

Don’t wear a life jacket on the water? You might want to start. Without them, a pair of West Virginians canoeing Chamberlain Lake in Piscataquis County on Sunday would be dead now, according to Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. 

“This is the third incident in the past month where the Warden Service has rescued capsized paddlers who were able to stay afloat because they were wearing (personal flotation devices),” Monday’s release stated. “The Maine Warden Service urges all boaters to wear their life jackets.”

Lt. Tom Ward said in the release, “If they were not wearing their PFDs, this story would have had a very tragic ending ... Their life jackets saved them.”

Have you ever heard someone say, “I wish I hadn’t worn my life jacket.” Remember the West Virginians, and Ward’s words, the next time you head out.

Another do comes to us from AP Stylebook’s email newsletter this week. It regards news writing, but I think it is apt for any setting: Try to avoid putting a person’s disability ahead the person. For example, say “a person who has a disability” instead of “a disabled person.” I am all for tight writing, but we are all people first, not our disabilities or illnesses. So another syllable or two, or three, will be fine.

The same newsletter introduced me to the term “ableism.” Like racism, ageism and others, it is painting a broad brush on a group, discriminating against or judging people by, in this case, their disabilities.

There is no place for it.

Week’s parting observation: Not quite Memorial Day, yet the traffic and out of state plates have been plentiful around Wiscasset. Route 1 looks busy and, except when you’re in the traffic, or maybe even then, it’s nice to see.