Opinion Maker for The Herald-Palladium

When my older brother, Jack, was maybe a junior in college, he was home for summer break from the University of Minnesota in Duluth. His summer job was to proofread for the local Niles Daily Star. I was between second and third grade, and asked him what he did at work. Jack showed me the paper and said, “I have to read everything people write and if they make mistakes, I show them how to fix it.” I always wanted to be like Jack, so probably ever since then, I’ve noticed written mistakes whenever I’ve been able to find them.

In a recent split decision, the Michigan Supreme Court approved a proposal on Reproductive Rights for the November ballot. Two justices were opposed because the proposal had words with no spaces between them. Technically, just biglongwordslikethis! I’m not certain just why or how the proposal ever got submitted without spaces between the words in the first place. Perhaps rules about font, type size, limited space availability on the ballot, or other constraints made it necessary for the referendum writers to jam the words together. I truly hope it was not just a case of negligence by not proofreading.

John Jarpe is a retired educator and lives in Bertrand Township, near Niles. He taught and coached in Detroit, at Lake Michigan Catholic, and at Brandywine. He was a principal and special education director in St. Joseph and retired as superintendent of Brandywine in 2017. Email: jarpejohn@gmail.com