Action Alert!

nomenclature

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Aug 07, 2006

Suppose tomorrow I show up at the offices of the Philadelphia Inquirer, carrying a baseball glove and bat, and introduce myself as the shortstop for the Phillies. How much ink do you think I'll get in the next day's paper?

Zero, you say? That's exactly right.

Yet readers today saw the provocative headline:

Female Catholic priest has first Mass

The woman in question, Ellen DiFranco, isn't a priest; she isn't a Catholic, and it wasn't a Mass. But the Inquirer story did not expose the fraud, except by commenting mildly that DiFranco is "not recognized by any diocese."

Reporter Edward Colimore, who wrote the story, caught some flak from Catholic readers for taking the woman's claims so seriously. He patiently explained, "We identified Eileen DiFranco as Catholic because she considers herself to be a Catholic and belongs to an Old Catholic church."

Aha! So if I really, truly consider myself the Phillies shortstop? And if I did in fact play shortstop for a Little League team named the Phillies?

Colimore reminds his angry readers, "We did not call her a Roman Catholic." So you see they could identify me as the Phillies' shortstop, and if readers complained, just point out that they didn't say I play for the Philadelphia Phillies.

But they won't. The Sports section would not promote a fraud.

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