The Californian’s Opinion section received two letters this past week that stood out from the batch of usual suspects. One was signed “anonymous.” The other was signed “Anne Ohnemus.” We threw out the one from “anonymous” without a thought because we don’t consider letters from people who don’t identify themselves.
The one from Ms. Ohnemus, however, actually worked its way down the pipeline toward publication before an alert copy editor mouthed the name out loud to himself and alerted the proper authorities. More on Ms. Ohnemus in a moment.
The process of vetting letters for authenticity of authorship is one of the more mundane tasks that come with the job of letters editor (who, in our case, is Mark Powell). Sometimes it can be intriguing but most of the time it’s like balancing your checkbook — dull but necessary.