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My readers, bless their hearts

If you read these posts only when they first show up — and by all means keep doing so — you miss the comments that people add as they go rummaging through the archive. I wish that you could enjoy them as much as I do. T

his just in today for Roberta, to a post from last September on decimate:

My favorite sentence that uses decimate in its literal etymological sense is "Tithing to the church has decimated my income." Yes, I'm probably going straight to hell.



Posted by John McIntyre at 3:36 PM | | Comments (3)


Back when I worked for my college newspaper, I once called our sports editor to berate him for the sentence "Vici fared slightly better, going 2-3 in pool play before losing with a decimated team to the University of Minnesota on Sunday."

It turned out that our women's ultimate team (Vici) had indeed started the weekend with 10 people, but was forced to finish it with 9. In retrospect I wish I had called more attention to this extraordinarily precise writing.

From the time of my introduction to your blog late last year, until late in the winter, I followed your thoughts almost everyday.

Just recently, after a five month hiatus (can you believe that - five months without advice from a copy editor) I began catching up on this and twenty-three other blogs in my RSS feed folder.

Sometimes as I write I think about the folks who left their remarks many months ago and travelled on. I flag each post I thought was worthy of a comment. I waffle on the meaning of the flag. It is either to return and view the comments it might have generated, or to mine the comment as fuel for one of my blogs.

I think that to receive the credit loans from creditors you ought to present a firm reason. Nevertheless, one time I have got a secured loan, just because I was willing to buy a car.

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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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