Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Are you knowledgeable or just another know-it-all?

Paul Berton, the editor-in-chief, of The London Free Press recently wrote a piece titled, "Are you knowledgeable or just another know-it-all?"

Yesterday Berton ran a piece on the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest structure. Paul wrote:  "The Burj Dubai, in the city-state that may be the very definition of excess in a modern world, is finally complete. Stretching more than 800 metres into the desert sky, the office tower dwarfs even the world's second tallest structure, Toronto's CN Tower."

Interesting. Just two things that I'd like to add. One: the building was renamed the Burj Khalifa  in honor of the president of the United Arab Emirates. You do recall that it was the UAE that bailed Dubai out of last year’s debt crisis?

So sorry Paul, but you got the name wrong. (I'm sure you're in good company but a fast Google lap didn't turn up any other news organizations making the same error. But, it is a big world and I am sure you are not alone.)

And oh, the world's second tallest structure is not the CN Tower in Toronto; It's the KVLY-TV tower located three miles west of Blanchard, North Dakota. If you want to play the tallest game, you have to call the Toronto tower the second tallest "freestanding" structure. The freestanding is very important as without that word the CN tower would never have been able to make its claim; The Warsaw Radio Mast was hundreds of feet taller but it was a guyed affair and not freestanding.

Oh well, look on the bright side. You can do another column in the are-you-knowledgeable-or-just-another-know-it-all vein and you can take a more generous and forgiving approach this time. Your view will now be tempered with the wisdom of someone who has been-there-done-that.

Maybe, just maybe, you should have kept those editors you let go at Christmas.

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