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, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. The original site,, at, and now at

Saturday, July 18, 2009

How could this have happened?

There’s only one explanation: Mistakes were made:


Microsoft Vista

Jon and Kate Plus 8

Fanny packs: Perhaps the last thing that broad-of-beam Americans needed was an accessory that emphasized their girth.

Abstinence-only sex education

The Apprentice: And any other television program, contemplated or actual, featuring Donald Trump.

McDonald’s McRib


The Atkins diet: And the Metabalife diet, the South Beach diet ...


Knight Rider: All versions.

Jell-O shooters

Gladiator flip-flops: Actually, any flip-flops worn anywhere but to the shower or the pool.

Sport utility vehicles

Chocolate martinis: Actually any cocktail labeled as a martini containing anything other than gin or vodka and vermouth.