One day earlier this week when our website was down for maintenance, I attempted to use a roundabout method to locate an article I'd written a few years ago. In the process, I discovered that I must choose my words incredibly carefully when I type them, lest they be taken out of context.
In the attempt to track down the information, I did a Google search for my name and the article subject in the hopes that I could find it on one of the many other websites that often pick up our material. It's funny sometimes to see who takes notice of what we write and wants to share it with their community. Articles I've written in the past, sculpted for this newspaper and its local readership, have ended up on the ''press pages'' of numerous national charities and not-for-profits, the official websites of nationally known entertainers (including stevemartin.com - I'm pretty proud of that one) and countless news aggregator sites for topics such as cancer awareness, hobbies or even fashion (yes, I've found my articles on all of those types of websites).
I even recently discovered one of my articles being used as an reference on a Wikipedia page, which made me feel quite important, as I have contributed to the collaborative knowledge of society. (Sure, it was the page called ''List of Google doodles in 2011,'' which probably doesn't get a lot of traffic, but I'll take it.)
All of these online references to my writing shock me - especially the ones that spotlight my reporting on prom dresses, the culinary arts and other headings my name should be nowhere near. But one that really took me aback was on a band's website, which listed several reviews of their music: including one that said ''(band name) will entertain... - Dave Emke, The (Jamestown) Post-Journal.''
I have never reviewed a band in my life. I've never reviewed anything in my life. I've been asked to review CDs, plays, musicals and other entertainment-related goings-on in this area, sure. But I've always turned those requests down, because it's not what I do. I have no training as a critic - and really, no understanding of what is good and what is bad - and always felt I'd be doing a terrible disservice to the community if I pretended otherwise.
There was no doubt that I, at some point in my newspaper career, had strung those few words together, though. So once our website was functioning again, I did a quick search - through which I discovered that, in an Entertainment Page roundup nearly two years ago, I had written that the band in question ''will entertain at 10 p.m.''
Perhaps I should have stuck with the old standby, ''will play,'' and skipped the fancy language. But then my name would never have made their website.