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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 .

Posted: Jul 31 2012, 10:16 PM by the horn | with no comments
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