The Connecticut Post has a "You said it" section where readers can share short messages about whatever floats their boat. The only rule a reader must follow is to limit the message to "50 words or fewer." Sounds easy enough.
The photo I've included is typical of what appears on a daily basis in the Post: two reader-submitted messages far exceeding the 50-word limit.
Fran Weiss kept his comment to "only" 96 words. Stan Muzyk did him one better (16 better, actually), sharing a 112-word entry.
Don't pan Fran and Stan for not sticking to the plan. Blame the Post. Why have this rule, which has been in place for years, if you are not going to enforce it? I shared these sentiments in a "You said it" message — less than 50 words in length, naturally — I sent to the Post in July 2010. They printed it. They didn't read it though. Had they, they would have noticed how ridiculous and how unprofessional they come across printing daily messages greater than 50 words.
I have two very simple solutions, Connecticut Post. Choose one.
1. Alter your rule. Change 50 to, say, 100 or 125.
2. Keep your rule as is, but only print messages that — gasp! — contain 50 or fewer words.
I said it.