Volume 44, Issue 4 - April 2009

Vindication—Sweeter Still 

by Lyle R. Hill

People in general … and men in particular … rarely see themselves as others do. I’m quite certain that I am not an exception to this. However, at a certain point in one’s life, it is probably safe to say that most people’s perceptions of themselves get a little keener. Maybe, as I have come to believe, we lose some of our inhibitions as we age and more of who and what we really are starts to show. Either way, I now have reached an age when I have a reasonably good idea of who and what I am. Therefore, I feel confident that I am not “thin-skinned” or, shall we say, easily offended. 

This is particularly so when it comes to petty slights or what some people might refer to as “cheap shots.” As an example, perhaps I could refer to John Linder’s petty little swipe at me in an article that he wrote for USGlass in February. Quite naturally, I will do my best to bury him when I get the chance. This is NOT because I was bothered by his unnecessary cheapness; I am not a small and easily wounded person. I simply feel compelled to get even and ding him the first chance I get because it is the appropriate thing to do and he has it coming. That’s all. But lest we spend too much time in the mud with Mr. Linder, let us move on. We have other things of importance before us.

For the past several years … maybe 15 or more … I have been ridiculed, harangued and led to believe that I am a sub-par writer and grammarian by the people who produce and distribute this magazine. Now, because I am not a person who is easily wounded by such treatment (please re-read paragraph one above if you doubt this), I have accepted the criticism of a certain publisher and her editor and simply gone about my business in a mature and professional manner. 

What … you may ask … is he talking about? And to whom … you may wonder … is he referring? Well, I will tell you, not because I am vengeful, mind you, but because I feel you have a right to know.

You see, for the past several years, my simple little articles have been ripped … yes, ripped … by the “glass queen” herself (publisher Deb Levy) and the Headley woman (as in editor Megan Headley) because of my use of what is known as the ellipsis. And what is an ellipsis … you now ask? Well, those three dots (…) between the words ellipsis and you in the last sentence is an ellipsis and, while I have been known to be a friend of the ellipsis (…), I never felt that I overdid it or was, in any way, ellipsis-dependent. But to hear Levy and Headley, you would think I had some sort of an addiction. In fact, there were times when articles were actually threatened to be pulled because of my simple little ellipsis. I was told that it was inappropriate to use them in titles, at ends or beginnings of sentences and that good writers use em dashes (—) and not dots (…). 

But I’m proud to say that I held my ground. I fought hard for those little guys and now … right now … I feel totally vindicated for my position. And why is this so, you should ask? Yeah, I know I have you asking a lot of questions in this article, but it’s helping more than you might realize … because if you look at the February issue of good old USGlass, you’ll find my little …s all over the place. For instance, check out the title of the article on page 18 or the one on page 26 (the Linder one). I’ll bet they didn’t call him and tell him he didn’t know what he was doing! But here’s the best part … Headley herself lets …s in there all the time. The article that begins on page 36 even starts out “Quick … think fast … you’re in New York blah blah blah.” If I had done this, I would have gotten four phones calls, three e-mails and at least two faxes telling me why such a start would be amateurish and inappropriate. 

So … not because I am smug, condescending or prideful, but because it would be the right thing to do … I will accept your apologies Levy and Headley. And, as for you, Linder … I’ll deal with you later.

Lyle R. Hill is president of MTH Industries of Chicago. Mr. Hill's opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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