Eating Crow

Dagnabit, I was wrong about so many things in my last post, I feel compelled to go public. Trust me, I wouldn't do it if I didn't feel morally compelled. (Rumors that I'm worried about being sued are entirely false.)

The post was, of course, about the tree cut in Montana to adorn the lawn before the Capital.

Capitol tree still upright fr, photogallery

 First of all, there’s the minor but embarrassing misspelling of “capitol,” which I spelled throughout as “capital.” It turns out that the “ol” version is used only for the building itself, not for the city. Okay, that’s easy to fix. Five down.

Then, gulp, there’s the rather more embarrassing matter of having gotten the fates of the National and the Capitol trees mixed up in part of the quiz, the whole point of which was to explain the difference. Good, Kate.

Actually, that wasn’t the whole point; I also—well, I—in fact, if you get right down to it—okay, I’m just going to go for it here: I WANTED TO BE AMUSING, okay? In part by being confusing. Talk about being hoisted on one’s own petard.

Here’s what I said:

h) The National tree sits on the West Lawn, while the Capital tree is planted somewhere near the White House.

Well, er, not exactly. In fact, not at all. The National tree is planted somewhere near the White House, while the Capitol tree sits on the West Lawn of the Capitol building.

So, like so many attempts to make other people look like idiots, this rather rebounded upon the finger-pointer.

Finally, there’s the vexed problem of the tree’s height. I practically dislocated my virtual eyes, rolling them over the inability of the various sources I looked at to agree on the height of the tree, and calling a Montana TV station “overenthusiastic” for claiming that it measured 100 feet.

Well, guess what: it did—before they cut off its lower trunk, that is. That trunk got sliced into “cookies” which were presented to people who contributed equipment, money, or hands-on helping cutting it. This information was fairly well buried, but there’s a moral here: check your facts before you diss someone. My apologies to KPAX of Missoula.

However, there’s still some room for virtual eye-rolling, as the official website says they cut the tree back to 73 feet, while most sources say 78 and the 2cbs TV reporter I mentioned in my first post says 68. In fact, I’m once again in danger of eye-dislocation, as the latest find, again from KPAX, says that the tree is 126 feet tall but only a hundred years old.

That’s it, enough with the crow-eating. I quit. It's the day after Thanksgiving,* and I need to save some room for turkey. This is me tossing my laptop over my shoulder as I head for the table.

* US version.  Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October.

7 Responses to Eating Crow

  1. I’m a vegetarian, but I bet turkey tastes better than crow. Good thing you saved room. :) Not to worry, and at least you correct your mistakes, unlike probably most in cyberspace! I had to correct a post about bee balm/bergamot once and it pained me to be wrong but I was glad once I’d changed it. Good for you!

  2. We all eat crow from time to time, so don’t beat yourself up over it. All that said, did it still travel 4000 miles to get to its destination? Does it take 35 gallons of water a day to keep it looking as fresh as a flower? If so, then those were the important numbers…

  3. You are awesome Kate! No one will remember the facts a 100 days from now but it probably bugged you. I was looking up quotes today and saw a reputable source list the quote under two different names. And I am not a grammar queen but no one has gone running from my blog while I slaughter the English language.
    Cheer up and come dance with me! I’ve decided to take up my old clogging dreams and hit the bluegrass circuit.

  4. ::Lost::
    Easily done though, I am a creature of a very small brain.
    The tree is gigantinormous, ’nuff said!

  5. So to sum up…
    Big-ass trees
    Old trees
    One cut
    One planted
    Both in different spots
    Reporters exaggerate
    Often get their facts wrong.
    Does that sound about right?
    Next time you have to eat crow, just pull up a fork and have some with us… I’m sure we’ve done equal evils to the English language as well as facts. Oh well… we love ya anyway!

  6. National Tree = eco-friendly
    Capitol Tree = decadence
    In 1968 the Tree was only 30 foot tall. Every year the tree becomes taller…bigger, more, the best always the quest.

  7. Thanks, Karen.. Good to hear I’m not the only anal blog-correcter out there.
    Susan, yes, and yes, but I feel as though you’re responding to tomorrow’s post, not yesterday’s. First VP swipes my sentence, now you’re a post ahead of me–I’m beginning to feel like Zoe: lost.
    You are on, Anna, as soon my toe lets me do more than hobble.
    Zoë–Sorry I managed to lose you, but yes, it’s a hell of a tree, isnt’ it?
    Okay, Shibaguyz, are you implying that this could all have been done more swiftly? True. But where’s the fun in that?
    ang, you’ve plumbed the American heart.

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