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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

O brave new world

You can read in the Philadelphia Inquirer about words and catchphrases of the year, but for me and many of my colleagues, there is one statement that fitly epitomizes the year that is gasping its last today:

“Our market-based, forward-looking plan is both a response to the recessionary economy, continued downward financial pressures on the news industry and our transition into a 21st-century multimedia enterprise.”

Thus Jonathan Slevin, publisher of the Washington Times, in a statement redolent of the rancid corporate-speak so familiar during the past twelve months, announces that he is sacking forty percent of the newsroom staff.