Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Elongated unsolicited diet advice

So, two questions that we seem to ask every year around this (Western calendar) time:

1) How long will it take the Freep to copy-paste its annual list of  "things you should know about paczki"?

2) And how long until the Freep breaks its own prescriptive rule on the singular?

OK, you peeked. The answers are "six paragraphs" and "not long at all." (Hint: If you say "a paczki," it's singular, no matter how many annoying, tired, over-hyphenated modifiers show up between the article and the noun.) Nonetheless, a few changes from previous years:

No elongated yellow fruit this year! Specifically, no "beloved jelly-filled and calorie-laden Polish pastries"; no "nummy waistline-busters." No insistence that "'paczkis' is not a word" (if you can spell it, that's a pretty sure sign that it's a word, whether you like it or not). In that light, an interesting tweak to #3: This year's "paczki are thought of" vs. last year's "the paczki is thought of."

McCartney-preposition-wise, I see the no-singular-paczki rule as a strange hill on which to plant one's flag on. If you're cool with "bedouins" (to stay among languages you can see on signage in Hamtown), you shouldn't have a complaint with "paczkis."

While we're at it: Don't do a comma splice in the hed if you don't have to (and you don't). Please proof the copy before you print it; if that's meant to be a force-hyphen at right there, it didn't take. If we've managed to get through the rest of the edition without Frenchifying "Fat Tuesday," I'm not sure there's a need to start now. And is there a reason for shifting from justified to ragged type in the same story?

The editor's work is never done. I'll take a custard.

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