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To the Editor

To the Editor

Date: Sep 19 2006


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

People often write letters to newspapers or magazines when they feel strongly about a subject. Anyone can write a letter to the editor. It’s a way to express your opinion. More often, the letter will express disagreement, or another point of view. Sometimes though, folks will write a publication to say thank you for covering a particular subject.

Publications print letters to the editor for many reasons. It shows that they listen to their readers, and that they value input from the public.

Listen to Mason and Toby talk about both writing and receiving letters to the editor.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Mason:  I gotta say, every once in a while, one of my favorite parts in the newspaper is the letters to the editor.

Toby:  Me too. I usually read them first.

Mason:  Do you?

Toby:  Yes.

Mason:  Why do you?

Toby:  Why? Because I…It’s usually the whiners and the crazies.

Mason:  It’s a little… they’re kinda crazy.

Toby:  Actually though, I have written letters to the editor. They never get published. I spend so much time on ‘em. I think I’m being really articulate. It think I’m making a point that the writer missed and the editor missed it and they never get published.

Mason:  Well, ‘cause it’s… There’s very limited space for them. You know, newspapers in general get way more than they can publish in a day, so they kinda go, I think, with the more sensational ones. And there is, there is, uh, an impulse on the newspaper part, I can speak from being on the other side, to publish the letters to the editor that are the most critical of the articles in the paper because then it’s like…

Toby:  It makes ‘em appear unbiased.

Mason:  Exactly. They’re presenting the opposite voice, uh, so they look sensitive, uh…

Toby:  Well, I’m a writer too and I wrote for a newspaper and I got a few letters. Um, and then I was the editor of a guide and I got a lot of letters, and after a while, I just didn’t want to read ‘em anymore.

Mason:  I never… I was a columnist in college, and I kept waiting for, like, the furious letters to the editor and I only got, like, two. I was really happy about it too, You know, I was, like, Yes! I finally pissed someone off!

Toby:  Yeah, Most people I don’t think… you have to be pretty motivated, or have a lot of on your hands.



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Mason and Toby both enjoy reading the letters to the editor. It is often the first thing they read in the paper.

Toby has written letters to the editor, but none has ever been printed.

Mason points out that newspapers get many more letters than they can print. Because of that, the more sensational ones often get printed.

Toby and Mason are both writers. Both have received letters about articles they have written.

Do you read the letters to the editor in your newspaper? Have you ever written one?



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how to make the audio play?

05:59 AM Sep 21 2006 |

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