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 firstname.lastname@example.org, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. The original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/, at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/, and now at https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/columnists/mcintyre/
Monday, February 11, 2013
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.