John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and random topics. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. The original site,, at, and now at

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pointing the finger

Please click over to Regret the Error, where you will find a short article, “You Don’t Say: Fixing the Blame,” about the issue of assigning responsibility for errors in articles. It explains why I find a writer’s “It’s not my mistake, but it’s got my byline on it” less than compelling.

Besides, it’s not polite to point.

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