On July 14, 1980, my father sent the following letter to one of Charleston, South Carolina’s two daily papers.
Even though you probably get lots of criticism, there are still some of us out here who stick up for you. Whenever my friends say, “Have you seen today’s editorial? It’s the dumbest thing they’ve ever printed,” (which happens about every two days), I always read it and say, “No, it’s not the dumbest thing they’ve ever printed.”
Just thought you’d like to know.
They printed it the next day, under the headline “Faint Praise.”
In 1996, I plagiaristically sent the same letter to my college’s excuse for a newspaper. They, too, printed it the next day, but edited it so that it read, in part, “Have you seen today’s [Name of Paper] editorial? It’s the dumbest thing it’s ever printed,” thereby both ruining the joke and making me look like a stylistic barbarian.
O tempora! O mores!