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 firstname.lastname@example.org, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. The original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/, at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/, and now at https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/columnists/mcintyre/
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
"The Old Editor is an imposing man. As he walks into Nina’s, a small restaurant across the street from The Sun’s headquarters, the woman behind the counter says, 'Hello, Mr. McIntyre. It’s been a while' with an air of deference. If his sartorial sense were prose, John Early McIntyre would probably find it too flowery: With a dark suit, a blue-striped bow tie, cuff links in the sleeves of his starched shirt, a wide-brimmed hat, and a cane, he looks more like Gay Talese—the dapper don of New Journalists—than The Sun’s long-suffering, ink-stained copy editor."
(The cane, incidentally, is for arthritis, not affectation. I will not make the same claim about the other components.)
Since publication, The Old Editor Says, available in print or Kindle by clicking on the links below, has garnered some favorable attention.
Jan Freeman curled up with it at Throw Grammar From the Train.
Dawn McIlvain Stahl weighed in at Copyediting.
Stan Carey was characteristically generous at Sentence First.
Steve Buttry praised both the advice and the prose at The Buttry Diary.
Several short notices have been posted at Goodreads.
There's also a curt, dismissive notice at Amazon.com by a reader who claims reporting experience, but it would be snarky to point out its solecisms.
I am humbly grateful for the good notices from several colleagues whose work I respect. If you find them persuasive, perhaps you will want to give The Old Editor Says a look.
And now that the academic year is drawing to a close, perhaps you will find it an apt gift for that graduate who aspires to be a writer.