Fit to print

Myra Jean believed cleanliness was next to godliness. She picked up the local newspaper with misgivings. Why did the ink stay wet forever, staining her fingers? She had asked her father, a linotype operator for the Baltimore Sun, but that was one of the few things he didn’t know. He was a fount of wisdom with a brilliant wit. On his rare days at home, they would read the paper together, pointing out typos and clichés. Even today, the smell of newsprint evoked her father’s wry grin. He would have enjoyed this weekly rag; it was full of howlers.


via Daily Prompt, Weekend Writing Prompt, Flash Fiction Challenge, and Daily Prompt: Brilliant

Note: My grandfather and my mother both started as linotype operators in Colorado. When newspapers started using “cold type” (phototypesetting), my mom learned to use a computer.


  1. I liked it. How so many trivial things, pet peeves, etc that can evoke a memory. A fitting tribute to an old Linotype operator from B-more.


  2. Newspaper has been such an interesting industry throughout the history of the US. I never enjoyed the feel of news ink on my fingertips, but I had fun using the wax rollers to set the newspaper layout in place. I suppose that is what replaced linotype operators. Howlers! a great word!


  3. I used to do phototypestting many, many years ago and then created layouts using hot wax to stick the pieces down. Like Myra Jean’s father, I’m always looking at everything to this day for typos! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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