Letters to the Editor for Aug. 17, 2013

Protest needed

In a town where many Olympic quality athletes live and train it would be nice to see them organizing a protest against the Olympic Committee’s banning of Rainbow Colors at the Russian Winter Olympics. These colors signify the freedom to express one’s sexual orientation.

Russia’s going backwards; let’s keep going forward.

Al Brown

Hood River

Avoid sarcasm

Recently the Hood River News published guidelines for letter writers. While they were mostly about length and content, I would suggest one more thing: tone. In particular, sarcasm.

Whereas I feel sarcasm should be avoided in most writing, I am not opposed to it per se. It can be used effectively to make a point or to add humor to a serious debate. It is at its best, however, when it is delivered subtly, with a smile, to a friend or acquaintance, and in person.

Many of the clues for detecting sarcasm come from the speaker’s intonation and even body language. Both of which are lost to the reader. In writing it often comes across as mean-spirited and heavy-handed.

While this may be amusing to the writer and to those who share his views, it will often anger the opposing side and perhaps confuse the undecided. If the intent of a letter is to persuade and/or inform, the writer has failed at both.

I can think of some wonderful examples of sharp wit in writing; Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker to name a few. In writing, I think sarcasm is best left to the professionals.

Dennis Kindig

The Dalles

Above and beyond

While traveling on Highway 35 with his lights on was a county deputy parked, picking up a big pile of trash spread out on the road. I don’t think he was on work release (lol) but was doing it because it was the right thing to do.

Thanks to the deputy.

Jim Burdick

Parkdale

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