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You Don't Say John E. McIntyre writes about language, usage, journalism & arbitrarily chosen subjects.

Some things newspapers are good for

The Baltimore Sun

Newspapers have many practical uses.

Item: You can spread newspapers on the ground, soak them with water, and cover them with mulch to keep weeds from growing.

Item: Wadded-up newspaper is an excellent lightweight packing material in place of bubble wrap or other material. Good for wrapping glassware and fragile items.

Item: Using newspaper instead of paper towels to clean windows will prevent streaking.

Item: Wrap green tomatoes or pieces of fruit in newspaper to make them ripen faster.

Item: Newspapers make good insulation; you can wrap them around your pipes to keep them from freezing. (And, you will recall, the unemployed sleeping rough during the Depression called them “Hoover blankets.”)

Item: Newspapers are good for deodorizing; put wads of them in your shoes or in the vegetable drawer to absorb unwanted smells.

Item: Use newspaper instead of sponges to clean grease from your oven.

Item: You already new about paper-training the puppy or lining the cat’s litter box or the bottom of the birdcage, right?

Item: Spread newspaper on the car windshield to prevent icing.

Item: Subscribe to the newspaper to find out how deeply Baltimore police officers are involved in corruption and criminal acts, that the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is showcasing works by a neglected African-American woman composer, that environmentalists are trying to strengthen laws to protect the state’s forests from development, that state employees are excluded from a new contraception law, that there is a campaign for the city to ban polystyrene foam containers, that a restaurant featuring Eastern European food is opening in Pikesville, that the Orioles are planning to hire another free-agent starting pitcher.

Then, once you have supported the work of the journalists who bring this information to you, use it for the other stuff.

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