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Tag Archive | "directional disability"



North and south: are directions really important?

By Judy Reed, Editor

Once upon a time there was a reporter who wrote a story on deadline (at midnight) describing a new left hand turn signal installed at a busy intersection in town. The story was pretty straight forward, but the reporter read it over three times, and made sure she had the directions listed in the photo caption right. Despite having gulped down several cups of coffee to stay awake and being amped up on sugar because of the delicious dark chocolate brownies brought in by an admirer, she did not catch that the directions in the story itself were not right—north was south and south was north. If you are traveling eastbound on 17 Mile and want to turn left on White Creek, it’s north not south; and those traveling westbound who turn left will be headed south, not north. We had several phone calls Thursday and an email letting us know we were heading in the wrong direction. So what’s a reporter who is directionally challenged to do? Is it a real malady? Well, I researched it to find out.

The first thing I found was something called dysorientation. That sounds about right, I thought. It was a facebook page. Maybe this would be a group where I could belong. Hurray! I’ve found my people! I even did a little happy dance. Then I read the description: “A Berlin based party line dedicated to vintage psych, grooves and dancefloor sleazyness from the golden days of analog production.” Ok, well maybe not my people, but it could be fun to listen or dance to if I was ever in Berlin. I’ll add it to my bucket list.

The second thing I found was geographical dyslexia or directional disability. There are people out there (and you know who you are!) who panic when you have to meander the corridors of the hospital or parking ramp to get back to your car; who fear you are lost forever when you leave your hotel to walk to the nearest restaurant but nothing looks familiar on the way back so you consider putting out an amber alert on yourself; or you break out in a cold sweat when you have to drive yourself somewhere you’ve never driven to before. You could’ve been to the place a million times—but if you were just riding along, you may not have been paying attention. You were probably playing Yahtzee with buddies (send me a bonus roll please) or Words with Friends on your cell phone and now you have to drive there yourself and you’re going to die because you have no idea what the streets are and your GPS just told you to turn in 200 feet and you don’t know how far that is and instead you turn in 100 feet onto a one-way street going the wrong way and directly into the path of a bus. Aaah! Don’t laugh! The struggle  is real! But this isn’t me either. Ok, maybe a little bit.

I also found out there are not guide dogs for the directionally impaired. Though I’m sure it could be a thriving business if someone took an interest. Because in my research, it looks like there are a lot of people out there who are perpetually lost. And they could really use a helping hand. Or paw.

As for this story, it was a simple mistake that got readers talking. If that’s what it takes to get readers talking, maybe I should slip in a few more mistakes. What will you find this week? And please—if you are traveling eastbound on 17 Mile in the left hand turn lane to White Creek, whatever you do, don’t try to turn south. Or you just might make the front page of next week’s paper!

Posted in NewsComments Off on CORRECTION



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