Have you ever noticed how prone we all are to take things for granted? If mistakes were never there a lot of things we wouldn’t know about.
A recent experience in our Surplus News Letter, which is sent out to all dealers in used machinery and equipment, brought this to mind when we erroneously commented on an export shipment of a 26’ Boring Mill by one of our advertisers. We stated that the machine weighed in the neighborhood of 5,000 lbs.—probably one of the largest ever handled by a machinery rebuilder.
Comments such as, “This 26’ Boring Mill must have been made out of aluminum or with castings having a lot of air or blow-holes in them to make the machine lighter, or possibly made out of some of that so-called featherweight alloy to cut down the weight!” were among some of the expressions received. Of course, our commentators realized that this Boring Mill must weigh around 500,000 lbs. and could not resist the temptation to chide us on our oversight.
We imagine that the majority of editorial writers or news commentators receive volumes of fan mail, or whatever you want to call it, and it has been our observation that most of the comments are from people who do not agree with statements that have been made. Sometimes we wonder whether a columnist who wrote so perfectly that everyone agreed with his ideas, that no one criticized his writings, and by the same token no one took the trouble to pat him on the back, would not lose a lot of sleep because he feared no one was paying any attention to what he put in print.
Probably it isn’t such a bad idea after all to be occasionally incorrect in what we say and do because comment and criticism usually result in things of a constructive nature, particularly if the recipient isn’t so overwhelmed with his own ideas that—“Well, the King can do no wrong.”
Not so long ago we wrote an editorial taking a fall out of certain individuals and we received quite a few pats on the back. Naturally they made us feel pretty good so we came to the conclusion that one way to get a lot of comments was to criticize someone. Obviously our supporters felt the same as we did in this editorial but they never had the time or opportunity to express themselves in print.
But why wait for someone to make a typographical error or become critical before taking the time to write an expression about some thought which we know is correct and with which we feel the majority of people agree. Words of encouragement probably do more to spur one on than all the criticism in the world. We think the majority of people need a good reason before encouraging someone, but in most cases it appears to take too much time to toss a few bouquets. If someone treads on our toes that’s different.
At any rate we like ’em all—brickbats or bouquets!