I before E, except after Cal: A response to The Daily Californian

Posted by at 6:24AM

This post is in response to a Daily Californian blog, which can be read here. The opinions expressed in this article are not the opinions expressed by The Unofficial Stanford Blog, The Stanford Daily, or its writers. Oh man, have I always wanted to write that. Buckle up.

Dear Daily Californian,

Recently, you published a blog article (blarticle) entitled “No competition” which, in my humble opinion, went too far. The Stanford Daily has already issued a response, which can be read here, but I thought I would take advantage of this blog’s Unofficial-ness to say some words that the good people at the Daily are too nice to say.

I… I can’t look away. So horrifying, and yet… so beautiful. (Credit: Jasmine M.)

Originally, my article just had the words “get over it” and a detailed sketch of the Tree mooning a bear, but my editor said the text had to at least fill a whole line.

So I wrote more words:

While I’m as pleased as anyone that you’ve learned to proofread, and have access to a platform to show other people this new skill, this is the saddest and most asinine drivel that’s ever been mistaken for a blog. And that’s after I learned “Birds with Arms” exists.

I realize that this post was written in good fun, something with which to placate the ire of students and alumni after Stanford’s beatdown of Cal, but I implore you to keep it classy, or at least relevant. When you fault a young woman for what might have been a keystroke error (Although a score of 10-1, while unlikely, is certainly possible), or insult the readers of the Daily (which include professors, Nobel Laureates, and freshmen in Stern Dining) in one sweeping generalization, you are sucking on the dregs of the stupidest Stanford-Cal rivalry there is, or ever will be: proofreading.

Did the Montagues duel the Capulets over a split infinitive? No.

Did the Jets ever tell the Sharks to read up on the Oxford comma? No.

Did the McCoys slaughter the Hatfields for not conjugating in the subjunctive? No, it was because they were fighting over a pig. But I gotta say, this might just be stupider than that.

I get it. There wasn’t a whole lot for Cal to report on last Saturday. Berkeley showed more clips of “The Play” than they scored points (3, if you’ve forgotten). Three also happens to be the number of net rushing yards Cal had. To put that number in perspective, that streaker who bore his own Big Game ran at least forty yards before being awkwardly arrested.

And yes, Daily Californian, you have a point. Sometimes I, too, am a little confused about some of the Daily’s choices (see the Big Game article online, which features a picture of Trent Murphy grappling with a lineman from USC). But professional newspapers make mistakes all the time. People make mistakes all the time, barring some magical ability that allows you to go back in time and correct them. It’s a part of being a non-magical human, a part, which, apparently, is unforgivable to you. Know who else found being a non-magical human unforgivable?

Voldemort. That’s who.

You gotta figure even He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has dangled a participle or two.

While it is unfortunate that the purported mistakes and questionable captioning decisions were found in the newspaper of a school famous for its academic rigor and athletic prowess, I fully stand by the writers, editors, and all those you insulted, because they’re Stanford students too. That’s what we try to do here: give everyone a chance to voice their own opinion, in whatever way they deem necessary.

To call out another publication on its spelling and grammar mistakes, even a publication at a rival school, is completely unprofessional, unless your profession is being a 6-year-old. This act of sour grapes just further ingrains the stereotype that Cal cares more about the rivalry than Stanford does. Not that we don’t care; I’ll admit that losing to Cal would have put a blemish on an otherwise pimple-free senior year. I personally think that a healthy rivalry can bring out the best in both parties. For example, this past weekend, I saw a Cal fan sporting a shirt that said “Mitt Romney went to Stanford.” That is fucking hilarious. Good job.

O- O- Oski..? O-Okay. Okay, I’m sorry you lost. Just- listen- just please STOP STARING AT ME LIKE THAT.

I’m not a writer, or even an advocate, for the Daily (despite my 15 minutes of front-page fame above the fold. It was a slow news day). I don’t pretend to be a journalist in any sense of the word. I do, however, take pride in my school. And you should too, Daily Californian. It’s a great place. The weather isn’t nearly as dreary as people say, and the “college town” feel of it is something I wish I had in my own college experience. Also, I went to the bathroom in one of your buildings once (Great sinks. Good water pressure). I have the utmost respect for your institution and all its contributions to academia (e.g. Amir from collegehumor.com and Tom from MySpace), so don’t besmirch its good name by doodling over our front page and trying to pass it off as news- or even blog-worthy.

I know, I know, it stinks to lose. But suck it up, keep rooting for your team, and we will keep rooting for ours. Maybe next year.

Until then, I leave you with some wisdom. Aesop, the originator of the idiom, himself once said, “Sour grapes makes for bitter whine. Also, BEAT CAL.”

So come at me, Br-Oski. And, for the third year in a row, I respectfully ask you to kiss my Axe.


2 Responses to “I before E, except after Cal: A response to The Daily Californian”

  1. Jesse Clayburgh says:


  2. Vivian says:

    …That was absolutely brilliant (though I’m a year or so late).


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