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/.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Get on the bandwagon

Since publication of The Old Editor Says less than two weeks ago, sales have soared into the double digits. The bandwagon is rolling, and there is still time for you to clamber aboard. 

Suzanne Loudermilk commented on Facebook: Suzanne Loudermilk on Facebook: Anyone who is interested in the written word should read "The Old Editor Says" by John McIntyre. So true, so funny, so humbling. I'm glad I had a chance to work with him.

Beryl Adcock tweeted: Just raced through "The Old Editor Says" by @johnemcintyre in a single sitting, and recommend it highly. Great for writers AND editors.


You can click on the link to order the print edition: 



Or the Kindle version:



Or for iPad at iBookstore or for Nook at BN.com.

Operators are standing by. 

Not available in stores.




Thursday, February 14, 2013

"The Old Editor" on Kindle

If you're hip and with-it and past that letters-on-paper thing, if pixels are your preference, you will be pleased to learn that the timeless wisdom of The Old Editor Says is also available on Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Old-Editor-Says-ebook/dp/B00BFG3EVK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360850648&sr=1-1&keywords=%22Old+Editor+Says%22

Operators are standing by.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"The Old Editor" is in

The Old Editor Says, which was first listed on Amazon.com over the weekend, is now in stock.




Someone wondered whether some samples might be posted, since Amazon.com doesn't allow a glimpse into the book. 

Here's a teaser:

The Old Editor says:

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." 10-word lead. What've you got that needs more?

The creation of the universe in Genesis 1:1 does not need six paragraphs of throat-clearing before getting to the point, or a little anecdote to prime the pump. Genesis, like the Lord, gets down to the business immediately, and you, if you would like to have the reader's attention for a little while, will do the same. 


And, since there are personal and professional dimensions of editing that go beyond the texts, here's another teaser:



The Old Editor says:

Don’t scorch the popcorn, and never heat up fish in the office microwave.


If you edit solo at home, working in your pajamas, having gin for breakfast, and listening to that music you’d be embarrassed if people knew you like, that’s your business. But if you work in company, have the decency to respect the sensibilities of your colleagues. Common courtesy should be observed, along with basic table manners and the conventions of personal hygiene. 


Monday, February 11, 2013

See what The Old Editor Says


I have produced a little book of sixty-odd pages of maxims from the paragraph game, with brief commentaries. Some are traditional, some from my mentors, some my own. The publisher is Apprentice House, the student-run publishing operation at Loyola University Maryland.

If you did not have the good fortune as a beginner to work with a crusty old editor who would set you straight on the elements of writing and editing, then you can acquire a simulacrum from Amazon.com for twelve bucks.*



And, as the jacket copy advises, if you aspire to be a crusty old editor, this is the handbook.

If you are attending the national conference of the American Copy Editors Society in St. Louis this spring, and you bring along your copy of The Old Editor Says, I will happily autograph it for you. 

I am deeply grateful to Anthony Medina, my former student, who was the Apprentice House  production editor for the book. I also owe thanks to Samantha Vigliotti, another former student, who read the manuscript and made several valuable corrections; and to Kevin Atticks of the Loyola faculty, who oversaw the project.


*Amazon marks it temporarily out of stock. (And gets the title wrong, too.) The text went to the printer at the end of last week. As the printer disgorges copies, they will be available on Amazon, no doubt soon. For now, you can place an order to be filled as the books become available.