yale greenhill story

Very short story today, on what local schools give students the best chance of getting into Yale, Harvard or Princeton. Coming in first place: Greenhill.
(Not that it helped Greenhill’s most famous blogging alum, who had to settle for some little known Pennsylvania school, where she resorted to writing advice columns under animal pseudonyms.)
Sadly, the copy desk changed the story’s lead, which was originally: “Hey, ambitious parents! Want bragging rights at the law firm?”
Close readers will also notice that I ordered the schools as “Yale, Harvard or Princeton,” contrary to the misguided (though more common) “Harvard, Yale or Princeton.” Hey, I might as well use what little power I have here, yes?

6 thoughts on “yale greenhill story”

  1. I liked your lead better. And on a separate note that’s had me curious: why do DMN stories (ones that I’ve read lately anyway) fall back on the old “him” or “he” as the general pronoun for “child” or “student”? I mean, last I checked, the last 18 years has seen female births as well.

  2. I don’t think it’s a DMN style issue. I use “her” at least as often as “him,” but I use “him or her” more often than either. (As awkward as it is.) English needs a nice non-gender-specific personal pronoun for times like this.
    I do tend to use “him” when I’m writing about an educational phenomenon that generally applies more to boys (e.g., dropouts, youth violence, etc.). And in this case, I considered high-parental pressure to get into an elite school to be a (slightly) more male than female phenomenon.

  3. That makes sense. And I think “him and her” will become less awkward the more it’s used (or until we figure something out like “hrim” to replace it!). But less awkward (and space-consuming) is simply alternating between the two throughout the text, but for whatever reason I don’t see much use of that. I vote for Josh to come up with two new non-gender-specific pronouns for he/she and her/him to use in his education stories! You’d go down in the books for that. And you’d get the attention of many an eyeglass-wearing Canadian webzine writer, if you know what I mean. Kiss me frog! Say hi to grandma!

  4. That was “kiss me a frog.” Not that I was calling you a frog and telling you to kiss me in which case.

  5. In conversation, I’ve been known to use (annoyingly) “s/he,” pronounced “shuh-hee.” Doesn’t translate well in print, sadly.
    I don’t think “him or her” will ever become less awkward, though. It’s not like it’s a new term — it’s been around for decades. It just screws up the meter of a sentence. That’s why, in a quick, breezy piece like the one in today’s paper, it gets in the way.

  6. You’re right — the term has been around for decades, but the mass use/publication of it has not. Whatdoyado?

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