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, 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. 

The mentor you wish you had

I drove up to Bel Air on Monday to have lunch with Andy Faith and give him a copy of The Old Editor Says, which is dedicated to him.

It was a sunny day, and I had the luck of a Haydn symphony on the radio for the trip up and the trip back. Andy was in good form, healthy and cheerful. He says that he has enjoyed retirement more than he expected to when he left The Sun in 2008, and the project that he has been working on, a vast family genealogical text, is going strong.

It was Andy who rescued me from the toils of Gannett nearly twenty-seven years ago, and it is from Andy that I learned most of what I know about being a manager as well as an editor. You would be lucky to have such a mentor.

You, too, have the opportunity to own The Old Editor Says. Just click on a link to order the print copy or the Kindle version:






(We all understand, I hope, that I have to flog the damn book myself, since no one else will do so.)

But wait, there's more:
My learned colleague Bill Walsh is about to bring out another book. If you enjoyed and profited from Lapsing Into a Comma and The Elephants of Style, you will surely want to own Yes I Could Care Less.