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Letter: Watch Your Prepositions

To the Editor:

The Nov. 16 front-page story on the Vermont school tax from VTDigger, “Vt. School Taxes Head Higher,” reported, “Statewide education tax rates are likely to increase from 3 cents to 7 cents per $100 of valuation next year.” I must say this opening sentence got my attention! I had to read the cursory, convoluted and poorly edited story about Vermont school funding more than once to understand it.

Sloppy wording at the beginning of the story suggests something erroneous — that the state school tax rate will likely increase “from 3 cents to 7 cents.” This would be a 133 percent increase! What the story intended to report is that the state school tax rate will likely increase between 3 and 7 cents per $100 of assessed value.

To begin a front-page story in this fashion is hardly good journalism. Valley News editors are presumably trained journalists who know better. Your readers deserve better. I would urge you to better choose your prepositions. You should mean what you write, and write what you mean.

Now if I could get someone to throw me down the stairs my shoes, I could walk the dog.

Jonathan Rugg