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, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, and now at

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Metaphors to abhor

If you had the bad luck to be unable to attend the Editing Goes Global conference in Toronto last week, there is still a chance to catch up on one of its features. I will be conducting an audio conference for with a version of my session on misguided metaphors. 

Writers want to enliven their prose by making use of metaphors and other ornamental language. But laudable as the goal is, they are also prone to misjudgments that they have trouble recognizing without the patient assistance of an editor.

The conference will include examples from my extensive store of defective prose, and you will be invited to comment on them. Or argue with me about them, if you think that will get you anywhere. 

The conference runs this coming Monday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT, and there is still time to sign up. 


  1. The APA style manual is available from most bookstores and can be ordered online from multiple vendors. At this time, there is no Web version of the manual, although APA maintains a searchable blog written by APA experts who answer questions posed by scholars, students, and other writers.

    APA editor

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    APA Editor