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After demolition, reconstruction

Yesterday I took apart an innocuous but incompetently written announcement from the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland’s website to show the kinds of things that editors notice: lapses in grammar and usage, ill-chosen prose effects, gaps of information, lack of clarity, and the like.

Subsequently a commenter asked what I would do with the text after pointing out those limitations, and that is a fair question. That announcement could be revised in two ways, one for the in-group Episcopal audience, one as a general release.

 

First, the original unedited text:

The New ASSISTING BISHOP has arrived!!

Our new Assisting Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Donald P. Hart and his wife Elizabeth have arrived. Bishop Hart joins us after serving in several climatic extremes. He served in Alaska as Priest-in-charge, Diocesan staff and Rector, then moved to warmer climes as Bishop of Hawaii from 1986-94. He has also served in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut. The move to Maryland puts the Hart’s within a close commuting distance to their children and granddaughter in Washington, D.C.

Bishop Hart enjoys the prospect of another assistant bishop position “because it lives out the hart of all ministry, which I believe rests in dynamic partnership between ourselves and the Lord, between all of us, lay and ordained.” He began Diocesan duties on October 15th and will begin visitations in the near future.

Please welcome the Hart’s into our Diocesan family.

 

Next, assuming that my surmise yesterday about the bishop’s previous service was correct, the revised announcement for the diocesan website:

THE NEW ASSISTING BISHOP HAS ARRIVED

The Rt. Rev. Donald P. Hart, our new assisting bishop, and his wife, Elizabeth, have arrived in Maryland. He assumed his diocesan duties Oct. 15 and will soon begin parish visitations. Bishop Hart served as a priest-in-charge, a member of diocesan staff, and a rector in Alaska before being elected bishop of Hawaii, where he served from 1986 to 1994. Since retiring as bishop of Hawaii, he has served as an assisting bishop in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

Bishop Hart says that his new position “lives out the heart of all ministry, which I believe rests in dynamic partnership between ourselves and the Lord, between all of us, lay and ordained.” This new role also gives the Harts the advantage of living closer to their children and granddaughter in Washington, D.C.

Please welcome the Harts into our diocesan family.

 

Finally, a general news release:

EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF MARYLAND ANNOUNCES NEW BISHOP

The Rt. Rev. Donald P. Hart assumed duties as the new assisting bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland on Oct. 15, the diocese announced.

Hart served as a priest-in-charge, a member of diocesan staff, and a rector in Alaska before being elected bishop of Hawaii, where he served from 1986 to 1994. Since retiring as bishop of Hawaii, he has served as an assisting bishop in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

Hart says that he looks forward in his new role to the “dynamic partnership between ourselves and the Lord, between all of us, lay and ordained.”

Hart and his wife, Elizabeth, have children and a granddaughter in Washington, D.C.

 

 

Posted by John McIntyre at 10:36 AM | | Comments (2)
        

Comments

Is "will soon begin parish visitations" different from "will soon begin to visit the parishes"?

I'd use the latter in a newspaper release, but I'm not familiar enough with Pisky jargon to know if the former has some special meaning for insiders.


A bishop's visitation is more like a tour of inspection than a social call. JEM

I am the commenter you mention - thank you for following up on my query! Your versions are certainly a vast improvement.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at john.mcintyre@baltsun.com.
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