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

Monday, November 30, 2015

Put an editor on your shelf

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