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 jemcintyre@gmail.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/.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snow day 4

The situation: Many of the neighbors were out in the sunlight yesterday afternoon, beginning to dig out their cars and clear sidewalks. But Plymouth Road remains largely impassable. Trucks and SUVs have shouldered through a rough path, but last night a smaller, lighter, lower car got stuck half a dozen times and had to be dug out before it could bounce down to the end of the street.

I cleared the drive between the garage and the street — Roselawn — yesterday morning, but Roselawn is entirely untouched. There is no hope of getting a car from the garage to one of the main streets. Neighbors have called 311 requesting plow service from the city, and I have filed an electronic request, but it’s doubtful that any city truck will get here anytime soon.

Meanwhile, another storm is headed this way, with significant accumulation possible Tuesday night and Wednesday. We may have to slog through the drifts to the grocery today or tomorrow to replenish supplies, assuming that the grocery has itself been replenished.

Historical note: It was on February 8, 1980 that I reported to the newsroom of The Cincinnati Enquirer at its old offices in the Enquirer Building on Vine Street, the one with the medallion of the naked printer set into the lobby floor, to begin a three-week tryout on the copy desk. Jim Schottelkotte, the managing editor, had decided to take a chance on me.

Bill Trutner, a sweet man, was the slotman, and Bob Johnson was the old-school news editor. Phil Fisher sat on the rim, as did two recent hires, Jan Cordaro, now Jan Leach of Kent State’s journalism school, and John Bryan, now retired from the Los Angeles Times. It was exhilarating, and it was the start of nearly thirty fun-filled years of copy desk work.

4 comments:

  1. A naked printer? Wasn't he a little concerned about getting pulled into the rollers "root-first?"

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  2. Impassible? Impossible? Surely, impassable!
    "Impassibility (from Latin in-, "not", passibilis, "able to suffer, experience emotion") describes the theological doctrine that God does not experience pain or pleasure from the actions of another being."
    Your post-redundancy witing suggests that you are truly "passible".

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  3. All corrections gratefully accepted.

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  4. Mmmm. From here on the Sho' we saw lots of TV people reporting Live! From Outside! And Inside! ... allowing the Baltomayor and other officials to deliver verbal press releases.

    Yawn. Gag. Yawn.

    ReplyDelete