Don’t ‘Go Paperless’
To the editor:
In the midst of the confusion caused by the Covid virus and Wellfleet’s financial muddle, someone in town government forgot to notice that the average age of our residents is not 18 or even 40. If town officials had been aware of our town’s median age, they might not have “gone paperless” with such wild abandon and total indifference to those of us who are not comfortable doing things “online.”
Offering the opportunity to get one’s beach sticker “online,” is a sensible and perhaps time-saving option, especially during these trying Covid times. But it is not an opportunity for everyone. For many of us, it is a time-consuming and frustrating option we would rather avoid.
But avoiding “online” is not an option the town offers. Having just gone through Gov. Baker’s disastrous “online” vaccine rollout, I was less than excited to find my own town trying to match the governor’s ability to generate foul language from my mouth.
After finally mastering the town’s “online” beach sticker process, I found it interesting that I had to pay a “convenience fee” and pick up my sticker in person. Then, after I got my stickers, imagine my excitement in finding out this was not a one-off event, but one that involves multiple town services.
I am hoping this is only a Covid response that will go away with the eventual decline in cases of the virus. If not, I strongly suggest that town officials look again at the town’s demographics and consult their parents and grandparents before instituting more “paperless” options.
A Young Copy Editor
To the editor:
When I picked up the copy of the June 10 edition of the Independent from the kitchen table, it was cut to shreds. I thought I recognized the handiwork, so I found my four-year-old grandson.
“Rex, did you cut up this paper?”
“It had two pictures of Ms. Lynne. I cut them out and hung them up.”
I had to go online to read the article “Lynne Ready Packs Up Her Toolbox” [page A7] and was amused to see it began with teaching children how to use scissors.
Our daughter and our grandchildren were lucky enough to have Lynne as a teacher, and I can attest to excellent scissoring skills.
He, She, and Gee
To the editor:
Pronouns are meant to be brief and have a limited function. They are there to indicate who is doing the action. (She baked the cake while he swept the floor.)
Many persons, not wishing to be lumped into either gender category, have suggested the pronoun they, but this is fraught with difficulties, especially when it comes to clarity. (She threw the pitch, he swung the bat, and they caught the ball in the outfield.)
Plural pronouns cannot very well refer to singular individuals. This usage creates so much confusion that it stops readers or listeners in their tracks and distracts them from the primary content of what is being communicated. In the midst of simple declarative statements, we don’t want to be shunted off into a dissertation on gender identity.
I offer the following suggestion: To the singular pronouns he and she, add an extra one, LG (the first half of LGBT). But don’t spell it “LG”; write it phonetically: elgee.
This solution provides a pronoun referring to members of the collective group of the gender fluid; it is short; it rolls off the tongue easily; and, like he and she, it ends with an “eee” sound.
True, elgee has two syllables, whereas he and she have only one, which perhaps argues for shortening it still further, to gee: She baked the cake, he swept the floor, gee came down the stairs, and they all listened to a radio mystery thriller on WOMR.
Steven Thomas Oney
The writer is author of the Cape Cod Radio Mystery Theater.