Using Pedantic Nit-Picking To Attack American Orchestras
Greg Sandow is at it again at Facebook and his blog at artsjournal.com . Now he's using pedantic nick-picking about English spelling to criticize certain American orchestras , in particular the world-famous Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, neither which is called a symphony orchestra or Phhilharmonic , as most other orchestras . Sandow seems to be looking for any excuse, now matter how far-fetched, trivial or irrelevant , to criticize our orchestras . The post concerns his reaction to how the orchestras advertize themselves .
Sandow cites a manual of correct English usage as an excuse to call the way they advertize themselves "pompous ". How are they pompous ? Well, the brochures for the orchestras supposedly don't spell the names "Philadelphia orchestra" and "Cleveland orchestra the correct way. You see, the brochures use "Philadelphia Orchestra" and Cleveland Orchestra" , with the word orchestra capitalized , despite the fact that the O should be lower case . I most likely would not have noticed myself , or even if it did look funny to me, I would not have made a fedral case out of this utterly trivial matter .
How the heck does this make the orchestras seem "pompous", even if the correct way is to write the O in lower case ? Does this even matter ? Did whoever wrote the brochures consciously decide to make the O upper case ? Was there any intention to appear "pompous"? I doubt it . Will the people who read the brochures even notice , unless they are really particular about correct spelling ? Probably not .
Can't Sandow find better excuses to criticize these orchestras ? In the past, he has criticized the way other orchestras and individual musicians are publicized , citing specific ways he thought the publicity agents do a poor or ineffective way of trying to drum up audiences for classical music . Fine . But now he's gone way overboard and is just grasping at straws .
This is so unfair to these two renowned world-class orchestras . Who cares about piddling details such as correct capitalization ? Our orchestras in America as a whole have a rough enough time finding new blood to attend their concerts . They're not to blame for this, because they offer a truly high quality product . If more people would just give our orchestras a chance and try their concerts, they would probably love what they heard and want to attend regularly . Lets stop blaming the victims . Greg Sandow means well , but posts like this do absolutley nothing to help our orchestras . In fact, they're highly counterproductive .