Monday, June 30, 2008

No, I Don't Have Any Blue Oyster Cult

I came across a refreshing usage at work last night.
Mark Rozell, a professor of political science at George Mason University, said the similarity of the attacks suggests a concerted effort to "build a picture" about Obama's character before the political newcomer has a chance to convince people of the truth of his rhetoric.
Yes! For once, concerted means "concerted"! The story was about various McCain operatives working together, in concert. That's right: To make a concerted effort, despite widespread usage, isn't to try really, really hard to do something. That would be, perhaps, a determined effort.

Even the notoriously permissive Merriam-Webster's dictionary doesn't accept the "trying rully, rully hard" definition.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


If you're reading this blog, you don't need to be told this. But just in case:

Copy editors must check all telephone numbers in the material they're editing. That means picking up the phone and calling the number. Telephone-number corrections should be virtually nonexistent. (As you also no doubt know, they're pretty common.)

The same goes for Web addresses.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mission Viejo Masala

Welcome to the OC, bitch.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

They Like Us; They Really Like Us

On the heels of Lawrence Downes's sincere elegy to copy editors in the New York Times, Gene Weingarten tips his hat as only Gene can do in the Washington Post.

UPDATE: Chris Wienandt and David Sullivan respond to the Times piece.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Fun With (the Lack of) Helping Verbs

Lesbians like straight men
No structural problem here, just a humorous linguistic coincidence that makes me think the headline writer was a robot, not a human.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Presumptions, Presumptions

Yes, it's wrong to call either Barack Obama or John McCain a nominee until the conventions decree them so. They've clinched, claimed and even secured their parties' nominations, but they haven't received or accepted those nominations. So go ahead and insert "presumptive" before "nominee," but don't feel the need to repeat "Presumptive nominee! Presumptive nominee! Presumptive nominee!" like a parrot forced to watch MSNBC. It's especially silly to write about how Sen. Barack Obama is planning his strategy for the November general election against Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee. Obama is just as "presumptive" as McCain is, the currency of his headlines notwithstanding, and that hedge after the mention of McCain isn't much of a hedge at all -- it's basically saying that Obama is going to face McCain in November whether McCain gets the nomination or not. But a truly prudent sentence would be truly comical, so how about we just let hypotheticals be hypotheticals and talk about the November matchup between McCain and Obama? I'd rather be presumptuous than type "presumptive" a few dozen more times.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


(More LOLcats here.)