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 email@example.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Before the urchins come clamoring for candy
Item: At Language Log, Arnold Zwicky goes into the peculiar hostility to quotative inversion. At his own site, he examines the peevish hostility to the word blog. For the record, no objection to it here; You Don’t Say appreciates useful monosyllables.
Item: In a weak moment, I succumbed to the temptation to set up a Twitter site, @FakeWardCleaver. Thoughts?
Item: The article on Halloween mentioned in the earlier post “Is that a demon at the door?” has generated a vast number of comments, many of them amusing and some of them intentionally so. The ensuing uproar has moved the editors of Charisma to post a second article defending a Christian’s celebration of Halloween. The comments on the anodyne article are predictably less amusing.
Item: A well-wisher’s anonymous letter today — the one calling me “a thief and a liar” — celebrates the belated discovery of my having been laid off by The Sun six months ago and kindly suggests that as an alternative to eating canned dog food, I might buy a gun and kill myself. Actually, and thanks for thinking of me, I have other plans.
Item: Remember that you can use the GoodSearch engine to find things on the Internet while, if you make the ACES Education Fund your designated cause, funneling pennies to that worthy endeavor.