Loose Ends: Put your name on it

Unsigned letters to the editors have always been a part of the newspaper business. It doesn’t appear to matter if the policy of the newspaper has been to only print signed letters, “Anonymous” can be persistent. Sometimes an editor may make a reference to the letter in one way or the other, thus lending credence to the viewpoint of someone who is not willing to stand up and take responsibility for their words.
Anyone who has been part of the newspaper business for very long has been the target of such cowardly communications. The anonymous letter writer mistakenly believes that the justification “somebody said” explains the reason for remaining incommunicado. Anonymous usually feels so strongly about an issue that the important thing is someone recognizes their viewpoint, even if it won’t be made public.
What is it that prompts someone to take the time to express themselves only to subsequently silence themselves by leaving themselves unidentified? The information is usually based on “somebody said” and the speaker or writer can usually not come up with the identifying name to start the fact checking process. The letter writer is assuming credibility or legitimacy by referring to such vague source material. This assumption seems odd, as one major complaint about small town life is that “no one  can be anonymous.”
Newcomers often register this complaint not long after they arrive. Because of the size of the community, the fishbowl feeling is common. It is impossible for residents to pretend they aren’t seasoned observers of the comings and goings of daily life.
Throwing on a cloak of invisibility might be nice once in a while, but those are only available for fictional characters.