Howler at the New York Times

Well, is he now?

Thanksgiving for that.


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  • In the spirit of Thanksgiving: I am very grateful to the NY Times for helping me stay informed. It is an overall great newspaper, though it’s music section used to be better.

  • Well, we all know that cellos are just the running dogs of hideous white male patriarchy. Easy for the NYT to get confused.

  • Well, at he wasn’t identified as a “guy with a guitar,” as he was described on a tv broadcast years ago, by a ditsy female model, who obviously had no knowledge about the arts. She was introducing the people on the red carpet, and said, “There is Yo Yo Ma with his guitar on his back.” I cringed.

  • Even if no one at the NY Times knows that the cello is a member of the violin family, someone at their paper who administers Style and Guideline formats (unless that position is now redundant) would know that in decades past they made use of the terms Violoncello and ‘cello.

  • In fairness, from a distance the cello looks like a big violin– except for that metal pointy thing at the bottom.

  • “Look What They’ve Done to Your Song, Ma!” Sorry could not resist. This’ll teach Yo-Yo that there is a price to be paid for raiding the violin literature so often for cello repertoire. That privilege is reserved for violists.

    By the way I labored for nearly four decades in, well let’s just say a particular line of work, and can tell you that as great a paper as the NYT is, their errors of fact were and are many in their business reporting and their willingness to admit and correct error can be very grudging.

  • I have always been amused that Ma played a lot with Ax. If they had an image-aware manager he could have called them Max.

    • Given that Ax’s friends call him Manny, a street-smart manager could have called them back to work with “Yo, Man!”

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