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/
Monday, December 21, 2015
Monday, November 30, 2015
There are uses for The Old Editor Says beyond the contents of the book.
Consider its uses as the Editor on a Shelf. Place your copy of the paperback on a nearby bookshelf or on your desk. The Old Editor's minatory gaze will then be visible to the writers and editors you work with, a corrective to their impulses toward excess.
Move it about from time to time, so that they never know exactly where they will encounter it. This will keep them alert.
The Old Editor Says is readily available from Amazon.com.
Monday, August 10, 2015
I suggest a different little book: The Old Editor Says, a compendium of a career's worth of reliable maxims for every ink-stained wretch.
Favorable notices from, among other worthies, Jan Freeman at Throw Grammar From the Train, Stan Carey at Sentence First, and Steve Buttry at The Buttry Diary, have not been rescinded.
You can also listen to The Old Editor himself read selections at a Grammar Girl podcast.
The Old Editor himself is available to harangue students, writers, editors, and interested civilians, at very reasonable rates. Write to him at email@example.com
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Writers want to enliven their prose by making use of metaphors and other ornamental language. But laudable as the goal is, they are also prone to misjudgments that they have trouble recognizing without the patient assistance of an editor.
The conference will include examples from my extensive store of defective prose, and you will be invited to comment on them. Or argue with me about them, if you think that will get you anywhere.
The conference runs this coming Monday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT, and there is still time to sign up.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Rudolph Giuliani, one-time mayor of New York, told a group of conservatives that he doesn’t think that President Obama loves America, which invites us to consider what America he is talking about.