John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, and now at

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lure a reader, get a book

A limited-time offer for fans of You Don’t Say:

Introduce five friends to this blog, and I will send you a free book.

The catches:

I want the names of the new readers, your attestation that they have not previously read You Don’t Say, and the titles of at least two posts they have read all the way through.

Four books are up for grabs. The first person to meet the goal gets to choose which. After that, the range of choice narrows progressively.

Offer ends June 6.

These are the prize books:

Mardy Grothe, i never metaphor i didn’t like: a comprehensive compilation of history’s greatest analogies, metaphors, and similes

Ralph Keyes, I Love It When You Talk Retro

Ammon Shea, Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages

David Wolman, Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling

You Don’t Say will bear the expenses of postage and handling only for locations in the United States and Canada. Offer not valid to employees of You Don’t Say or relatives of employees of You Don’t Say. Cannot be combined with any other offer.


  1. How fortunate that tonight was the night we printed the college's newspaper - six copyeditors/confessed word nerds at the ready! They read the posts from over my shoulder, so I'm not sure if this fully counts.

    Kristen R. - An unbearable scene; A small gap in the language.
    Amber D. - An unbearable scene; Do you know where Puerto Rico is?
    Amy W. - An unbearable scene; Who's your daddy?
    Victoria B.W. (a student of Esperanto) - An unbearable scene; Apologies to the Klingons.
    Jeff B. - An unbearable scene; Mr. Sullivan's challenge.

  2. You are a winner. Please send me your full names and address and your choice of book. ("Talk Retro" has already been claimed.)

  3. Reading the OED, please -- My brother-in-law said it was marvelous. Thank you so very much!

    Katie Ward
    4725 Bywood Court
    Colorado Springs, CO 80906

  4. I loved getting to introduce people to one of my favorite blogs and possibly winning a book in the bargain.

    Julie C. -That thing I say about baseball; To err is human
    Ruth C. -That thing I say about baseball; Things not to give a fig for
    Daniel C. -To err is human; Things not to give a fig for
    Brian B. -To err is human; Know your presidents
    Tim P. -To err is human; Things you know that are wrong

  5. We have another winner. Karlsson, please send me your full name and address, and your choice of one of the remaining titles, i never metaphor i didn't like or Righting the Mother Tongue.

  6. Thanks so much! I would like Righting the Mother Tongue, it looks really interesting.

    Becky Carlson
    11311 NE 33rd Ave
    Vancouver, WA 98686

  7. I can't win, but I might have to buy that spelling book. My kind of fun.