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/.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Not a fan of vodka

Liquor should taste of something.

That is why the brown liquors, bourbon, Scotch, and rye, have appeal; they have flavor. For martinis, gin is the obvious choice; it has flavor. It tastes like something.

I've never understood the appeal of vodka. It tastes like rubbing alcohol, the sole advantage being that you don't go blind. I've had an occasional vodka martini. It's nice to notice the flavor of the vermouth, but there's always a sense of something missing.

Today, however, vodka moves from its customary level of indifference to one of irritation. The reason is a Grey Goose commercial I've already heard twice, for its "cherry noir" black-cherry-flavored brand. Never mind my suspicion that all cherry-flavored liquors taste like cough syrup. The git engaged to read the commercial pronounces noir as "noh-are."

I suppose most of the customers do, too.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Anybody thirsty?

A couple of weeks ago, John Bosley, one of my local readers, said something nice about me on Facebook, and on a whim I suggested that we meet for a drink and a chat.

We met on a Sunday afternoon at the 13.5% Wine Bar on 36th Street in Hampden and enjoyed a genial hour. A writer enjoys an opportunity to meet readers face to face, and sometimes the readers also enjoy it.

So if you are in town this Sunday and not obligated for some Mother's Day observance, I plan to be at the 13.5% Wine Bar again, at 1:00 p.m. It seems to take a while for the place to fill up on Sundays, so we should have ample room and reasonable quiet.

I dislike drinking alone, so if you fancy a pint, a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee, I would be delighted to have your company.