“New York Times reader” didn’t become a right-wing synonym for “elitist” out of nowhere. As the newspaper itself proclaims, “Times readers are a well-educated group. They expect sophisticated coverage and literate prose.”
But how does that literate sophistication hold up when the Gray Lady goes a-missin’? Well, if “self-aggrandizing smugness” counts as sophistication and “almost free of basic spelling and grammar errors” counts as “literate” — remarkably well, actually! (That whole “i before e” thing is pretty tricky, after all.)
Exhibit a) From Alan in Washington, DC:
Exhibit c) From Elizabeth in Queens:
Unimpressed? Well, for the sake of comparison, let’s take a look at some notes by readers of less “sophisticated” newspapers. Like, say, the Washington Post:
Adds Robin in DC: “This person has also posted several other notes making various threats, including a promise to fill their paper with feces and glitter.”
As much as I appreciate that imagery, it’s actually New York’s other status-symbol-paper that inspires my favorite note of this genre — primarily because it so perfectly captures the essence of the Patrick Bateman/Gordon Gekko-worshipping tool I imagine the writer to be.
Our submitter, meanwhile, found the note more puzzling than anything else. Writes Danielle: “What kind of boring person steals the Wall Street Journal?”
And that, dear readers, is a question for another day.
extra credit: Dear Neighbors, Read This Note! [nytimes.com]