Friday, December 07, 2018

Of all the gun joints ...

Look, I know it must be busy up at the Washington Times these days, and the "u" and the "i" are right next to each other and all that, but still -- could we give the big type just ONE more look before pushing the button?

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

It's always sunny in Philadelphia

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Nibble on they tiny feet

Is it just me, or is an especially morbid tableau awaiting the guests at Mitch Albom's table this holiday season?

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Friday, November 09, 2018

CQ 'refute'

As part of our once-a-year effort to say something nice about Fox News -- hey, how about the copy editor who correctly stetted "refute" in the nut graf (above) of this WSJ pickup:

As a presidential candidate in August 2015, Donald Trump huddled with a longtime friend, media executive David Pecker, in his cluttered 26th floor Trump Tower office and made a request.

What can you do to help my campaign? he asked, according to people familiar with the meeting.

... The Trump Tower meeting and its aftermath are among several previously unreported instances in which Mr. Trump intervened directly to suppress stories about his alleged sexual encounters with women, according to interviews with three dozen people who have direct knowledge of the events or who have been briefed on them, as well as court papers, corporate records and other documents.

Taken together, the accounts refute a two-year pattern of denials by Mr. Trump, his legal team and his advisers that he was involved in payoffs to Ms. McDougal and a former adult-film star. They also raise the possibility that the president of the United States violated federal campaign-finance laws.

Even hard-core prescriptivists should probably admit by now that the refute/rebut distinction is slowly sinking beneath the waves -- though it's still fun to  catalog the occasional case where "refute" is more about ideology than carelessness. Here, too, it's nice to think that someone knew exactly what they were doing.

And good for the occasionally toothy Journal, too.  Hope everybody at least gets a window seat on Mr. Murdoch's unheated cattle train to Siberia.


Tuesday, November 06, 2018


You have bigger things to think about on Election Day, but just as a reminder that editing is always in season -- no. I expect what he said was "low-water mark," and it'd be nice if national publications kept people around who knew the difference. We could call them -- I don't know, "edit copiers" or something.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Don't fear the seekers

If it ain't one comma thing, it's another. Here, the missing Donner Party creates yet another Halloween dilemma. Perhaps you had settled on going as Beautiful Clean Coal, rather than an open stylebook; now you have to add Job Seeker to your list of possible costumes. Alas, it appears the editors have already done so.

Thanks, as always, to Powderhorn for the share.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Shoot, the piano player!

Yes, that's been quite enough breathless promotion of the Stupidity Tax for the year, but even the dozenth lottery story of the week can contain a punctuation gem. Imagine, if you will, these sentences:

You can't win the lottery honestly.
You can't win the lottery, honestly!

... and then see if you still want to lay off all your copy editors.

Because these things never happen in a vacuum, there's also this rendition of the president's excuse-making for his desert friends:
Like, the thing about discourse markers, you know, is that sometimes, well, you get a really different meaning if you don't set them off with commas. (I know, right?) As in, he probably didn't mean "you know you're guilty"? Here's the AP's version:

“I think we have to find out what happened first,” Trump said. “Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I’m concerned.”

Treat commas right so they'll treat you. Right? Think of the Donner Party.

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