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Recipe alert

My wife, Kathleen Capcara, with a cynicism ripened by a quarter-century of marriage to a copy editor, will not essay a recipe printed in a newspaper until a minimum of five days post-publication. That is an excellent idea.*

An alert reader of the Cincinnati chili post noticed that the instructions mentioned tomatoes, though tomatoes were not listed in the ingredients. It was my mistake to have omitted the two one-pound cans of tomatoes. And the two tablespoons of oil and bacon fat. The post has been corrected.

You Don’t Say regrets the error.


* There was once a Sun recipe for hearty cheese soup — how hearty we did not realize until we published the correction apologizing for having omitted the instruction to add a quart (or gallon or something like that ) of warm water. There’s no calculating how many high colonics may have resulted from that single recipe.



Posted by John McIntyre at 10:05 PM | | Comments (2)


Your wife and I have the same rule, although I wait a full week, since many newspapers publish food articles only on Wednesdays and Sundays.

As a cookbook copy editor, one of the first things I do when reviewing a recipe is check that all ingredients listed get used, and that all ingredients used were listed in the first place. Then I look for possible typos in quantities -- 1/2 cup salt for cookies? Doubtful.

For a very ill-tempered attack on a particular copy editor, don't miss this:

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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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