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/.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

We pause now for a brief commercial announcement

As you consider your holiday gifting (yes, gift is a verb and has been for centuries; get over it), you might consider a small book of seventy pages, costing no more than a couple of repulsive Starbucks concoctions, that tells writers what they need to know.

I mean my [cough] own The Old Editor Says, readily available from Amazon.  For the tyro or the pro, it is a compilation of hard-learned and easily remembered maxims about writing and editing, useful for self-editing, the hardest kind.

Slip it into a stocking or use it as an amuse-bouche before a more substantial gift. It can be read in an hour, but its value is enduring.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled internet surfing.

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