Travel guides and cobblestones

Boston Sunday Globe travel writer Christopher Muther has a good story, Dec. 23, 2018, headlined “Why do travel guides get Boston wrong?” He starts: “In the 25 years I’ve lived in Boston, I’ve stepped on more dog excrement than cobblestones.” We didn’t quite say it that way in our Journalese Dictionary when we defined cobblestones: “All quaint towns or neighborhoods are paved with cobblestones, even when they are not. ‘Boston’s cobblestoned streets aren’t great for modern traffic, but they add to the romance of older neighborhoods like the North End, ‘ was the cutline of a photo in a USA Today travel piece. The photo showed Acorn St., on Beacon Hill, a long way from the North End, which has no streets paved with cobblestones.”

Muther doesn’t answer why travel writers get Boston wrong. Guess it’s because they can. Nor does he point to the old rule of news reading: “You read a travel story in an out-of-town paper about your own town and you see it packed with errors, clich├ęs and pure bunk. You turn the page and read a story of some distant place you’ve never been to and you believe every word.” Check out Muther’s story at:

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