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/.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Reach out, AT&T, and ignore someone

In late September, I posted a speculation that the people running AT&T might be "the most feckless pack of bungling gits and lubberly clotpolls ever to set up in commerce since the Dutch oversaturated the tulip market.

I may have overestimated their capacities. 

The circumstances are this: On my gmail account I was receiving numerous messages addressed to a James McIntyre about his AT&T U-verse account. Despite the cunning baffles AT&T puts in place to thwart people attempting to resolve problems, I reached some poor devil immured in customer service. After consultation with his supervisor, he assured me that he had identified James McIntyre's correct email address and I would no longer be troubled by misdirected messages. 

After a series of new messages to James McIntyre provoked the September post, I received a message from a gentleman whose name I will not yet consign to infamy but who purported to be in the Office of the President Manager of AT&T Mobility, assuring me that he would attend to the matter personally. 

That was in early October. 

Since then I have received a message to James McIntyre about returning his AT&T U-verse equipment, a feedback request about his AT&T U-verse receiver, a billing statement, and most, recently, a promotional offer for U-verse movies, but no further communication from the Office of the President Manager of AT&T Mobility. 

James McIntyre, can you hear me? It may be premature to suggest that you abandon your house, move to another city,  and assume a new identity through the AT&T Customer Protection Program. But if I were you, I'd give it some thought. 

And you, reader, if you have not fallen into the fell grip of AT&T U-verse, be on your guard, because once you find yourself in their oubliette, your pitiful cries for help will go unheard. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

In time for Christmas

I have Burl Ives in my head singing, "Have a holly jolly Christmas,"* which reminds me that it is time to begin making seasonal preparations.

If you are seeking a small present for that relative or friend who is a writer, or who wants to be a writer, or who you think ought to write, let me suggest The Old Editor Says. In addition to its timeless wisdom, it is inexpensive and easy to slip into a Christmas stocking or hand out as a party favor.

Not available in stores: You can order it from Amazon.com, well in time to arrive for the holiday, in print form or in Kindle:




The book has received favorable notice from, among other worthies, Jan Freeman at Throw Grammar From the Train, Stan Carey at Sentence First, and Steve Buttry at The Buttry Diary.

You can also preview it, listening to The Old Editor himself read from it at a Grammar Girl podcast

However you mark the season, you have The Old Editor's good wishes for pleasant company and a prosperous year to come. 



*Oh, have I put it in your head now? Terribly sorry.