Open Letter to the Star Tribune

Dear Star Tribune,

I\’m writing in regard to a headline found on this morning\’s (1/31)

The headline reads: Wild gets offense untracked

\”Untracked\” is a word that has crept into the sports lexicon over the past few years. Oddly enough, \”untracked\” when used in the sports world has the exact opposite meaning that you would think. Instead of meaning that something has no direction or path, it actually means that things are \”on track\” (which is probably what the originator of \”untracked\” meant to say).

I\’m not sure who started using this word in this way, but it\’s gotten to the point where its new meaning is recognized in some dictionaries. E.g.

Please ask the Sports department to NEVER use this word ever again. I know I shouldn\’t look to the sports section as a bastion of quality grammar, but shouldn\’t a newspaper help set/maintain the proper usage of words? Especially since our dictionaries seem unwilling to do so.

wadE (Minnetonka)







7 responses to “Open Letter to the Star Tribune”

  1. anderswa Avatar

    i saw that headline earlier this morning and wondered which one of you was going to post on it first…

  2. alex Avatar

    I left feedback via the Strib’s form-mail and inquired as to whether or not they considered a train derailment a good thing.

  3. anderswa Avatar

    i sat across the wall from the person who used to collect the comments submitted to, and i assure you that they think you’re an idiot. no one tells someone in the guild that they’re using incorrect language, grammar, or punctuation.

  4. alex Avatar

    Yes, and there are contestants on American Idol who are sure they can sing, too.

  5. Brian Scott Avatar

    Forgive the digression but I needed to share this with someone. It is terrible:

    She is the anchor of the evening news. She is talking about a critically important global crisis. And she sounds vapid. Like a…. talk show host.

  6. alex Avatar

    The thing is… people will listen to her. And despite the tone, the message is pretty well on the money. So I’m willing to cut a bit of slack. This time.

  7. anderswa Avatar

    it’s an interesting debate: do we try to reach people with a more intellectual story that may end up being ignored by most but may raise the “intelligence” of some? or do we lower the bar and reach more people (the USAToday-ization of america)?

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