Editorials from the Good Old Days


As dumbed-down as most of our newspapers are these days, it’s difficult to imagine that some reader in the future will be confused by the complexity of our editorials. But maybe they will. In the wonderful Three Strides Before the Wire: The Dark and Beautiful World of Horse Racing, Elizabeth Mitchell quotes a 1916 editorial from the Louisville Courier-Journal that demanded multiple readings.

“Such a day’s sport as that of yesterday for those who went to see the Derby and such a day’s business for the turf, cannot be looked upon by reasonable persons as a blot upon the escutcheon of the city or the state. It cannot cause regret that Kentucky was not swept by the anti-racing wave, partly made up of righteous puritanism, but partly of narrow and ignorant fanaticism, which destroyed the turf in a number of states less interested in breeding.”

Maybe y’all know the definition, but I didn’t. Escutheon: a shield or shieldlike surface on which a coat of arms is depicted; an ornamental or protective plate around a keyhole, door handle, drawer pull, light switche, etc; a panel on the stern of a vessel bearing its name

When is the last time you had to use a dictionary for something out of USA Today?