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Editorial: Word Limit for Letters to the Editor!

Often we find ourselves in a real quandary —- we receive an excellent letter to the editor, sometimes at the last minute, and it’s way, way too long. What do we do? Occasionally we have permitted very long letters, particularly if it is one of the first letters regarding a very timely and possibly a highly controversial issue. And then the problems begin. We receive lengthy responses and many more very long letters. Do we turn them down? Do we break our own rules and let them go in?

Over the past few weeks we have looked at many other newspapers, weekly and daily publications, to see how they handle letters. It appears that just about no one (certainly not the well-known dailies) permits long, long letters. And we believe that we should not either.

We heartily welcome letters to the editor, letters on all sides of an issue; whether or not we agree makes absolutely no difference. We respect each letter and know that our readers are most anxious for information and opinions. So please do keep your letters coming, but please keep them at a comfortable size. Anything important that must be said can surely be said in a modest amount of words.

We ask that all letters to the editor be no more than 500 words. This will allow us to bring forth all points of view, while not having our readers “drowning” in one letter. And it will permit lots of space for lots of letters and lots of news.

It is possible to shorten your letters. We know this because so often we return a letter, asking the writer to cut it down … and when the letter is cut, generally it is just as fine a letter, with just as much information and plenty of convincing arguments. And it is so much easier to read.

Please keep your letters the editor coming to the Great Neck Record; but please do remember that we ask you to limit each letter to 500 words.

Thank you!