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A new arrival

You push the rock up the hill every day, and every night it rolls back down.

Still, the effort to establish clarity and precision in the use of English, against widespread miseducation and misunderstanding, makes for steady employment for editors.

Among the stalwarts at shoving the boulder is Kathy Schenck, the assistant managing editor for the copy desk at the Journal Sentinel in Milwaukee. She is a formidable editor and, as of this week, the author of Words to the Wise, a blog on language.

Her first two posts are models of clarity and good sense, and they are already engaging readers in the comments section. Look in on her.

If enough of us put our shoulders to it, I fondly hope, one day that damn rock will stay put.

Posted by John McIntyre at 5:39 PM | | Comments (1)


Do copy editors ever get together and throw down? Like, someone hands a pair of editors some high school essay, and they race to see who can most quickly clean it up?

That'd be awesome. But then again, I'm me.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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