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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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/.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
There was a boy in my class, until the year he failed to be promoted to the next grade, who was short and wizened and quiet. I remember mocking him one winter because he wore a red jacket with a hood. (I no longer recall what led me to single that garment out.) As an adult, I realize that he, like most of the class, was a child of farmers of limited resources, and any clothing he wound up with he was doomed to wear. But, as usual, compassion arrives late in the day.