For Ben Siegal, a longtime editor at the San Antonio Light, there was a correct way to write a story, and there were all the other ways, and pity the poor reporter who didn't grasp the difference.

His exacting standards applied to all the elements, from accurate reporting to nuances of word usage.

“If two people were having a disagreement over a topic, and only words were used, it was an argument. If violence was introduced, it was a quarrel,” recalled novelist Laura Lippman, a reporter at the Light in the 1980s.

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