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

Friday, March 1, 2013

Muster your forces

Not that I want to belabor military metaphors, but it is sometimes useful to prepare for editing as a general prepares for battle: you survey the ground, looking for a favorable position; you muster your forces, sizing up the available resources; you deploy your forces, determining where they are likely to be most effective; and, once the cutting and thrusting have begun, you do triage.

"Choosing Your Battles"  is the title I've chosen for an audio conference for Copyeditor in which I will talk about the editor's responsibility to author, publisher, and reader, as well as to oneself, for ninety minutes, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Eastern, on Thursday, March 14.

Click on the link to see further information and to sign up.

I hope not to spend an hour and a half jabbering by myself; nobody wants that. I trust that those of you who sign up will have experiences and insights to contribute, and you will be given opportunities to do so. 

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