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, September 19, 2009

Saturday morning

Saturday turns out to be a day to catch up.

Item: James Wolcott makes a graceful tribute to Samuel Johnson on his Vanity Fair blog, bringing a blush to my pallid cheeks in the process.

Item: Language Log linked to a Daily Telegraph article that attempts to identify the twenty worst sentences in Dan Brown’s oeuvre. It couldn't have been an easy task.

Item: If you were wondering just how America’s newspapers came to the brink of destruction, and what they might yet do in an attempt to pull back from that brink, have a look at Part 1 and Part 2 of Bill Wyman’s analysis. It was published a month ago, and I have only just gotten to it. It all rings depressingly true.

Item: Time follows its cover story on Glenn Beck with an article, “The secrets inside your dog’s mind.”

Sorry. Too easy. Moving on.

Item: Elizabeth Large asks readers of Dining@Large what people 35 and older look for in a bar’s happy hour. “A clean glass for my Metamucil,” one reader suggested. Having gone with Kathleen to the Best of Baltimore reception* on Wednesday, for a few bursts of shouted conversation amid the ear-splitting music and a lengthy period of meditation waiting — vainly — to see if a bartender would arrive within fifteen feet of me, I find resonance in her topic. If you do, too, go over there and add your comments.

Item: That’s how the day goes; I didn’t get this finished until Saturday afternoon.

*Thanks, guys, for the award. I was touched. And that missing hyphen in the headline — no biggie.