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Name yourselves

If the fiercely loyal readers of Elizabeth Large’s dining blog refer to themselves collectively as the Sandbox, what term is most appropriate for the faithful readers of this blog?

Your suggestions, as always, are welcome.

Be advised that Outpatients has already been considered and rejected.



Posted by John McIntyre at 3:38 PM | | Comments (49)


Umm, I don't suppose you'd like Nitpickers. Or Hair-Splitters.



Nah, we need something broader, and perhaps more subtle. The Stylists? The Plumbers (for unstopping clogged-up sentences)? The Apple Polishers?

Voiced Consonance.

After all, who among us could dare to disagree with such inspired wisdom?

The Parlor

Not as inspired as some already suggested, I like Grammar Geeks.

Along those lines: Molly Ivins called the American Copy Editors Society's national conference in Dallas a "geekfest."


I'm throwing this out, not dictating. What y'all decide on is not up to me.

To me, you (plural) will always be The Study.
I hate creamed corn.

My vote is with The Parlor.

I was thinking Naysayers.

The Blue Pencils.

I quite like The Apple Polishers.

I don't know that Geekfest would be entirely indicative of us grammar geeks, because there are - in fact - a wide range of geeks in the world. Though I'm not opposed at all to being referred to as a geek.

What about just The Polishers? Or the Grammarphiles?

John McIntyre said, "Y'all"?

As I have thought about it, you need a name that is a place. I first used Sandbox in passing to describe where we were, doing whatever it is we do in D@L. Therefore I withdrawal my suggestion of Blue Pencils. As an alternative, I think Study is close, but may I suggest: The Study Hall. It can be both a place for intellectual pursuits (Palintology) or spitballs (Palintology). Have to go. If I'm gone too long the ankle bracelet goes off and it just gets ugly.

How about Grub Street? The Inklings? The Groundlings? (Yes, I know: Once an English major, always an English major.)

The Simmering? This, of course, reflecting more the exasperation we may collectively feel as the world spins most gaily towards hell, as opposed to any bubbling rage we may - or may not - feel towards you and this pleasingly wordy blog.

Failing that, go for something tough-sounding. Geeks need a makeover and it's high time we seemed tough and faintly threatening. At the very least, it will give the mouth-breathers pause for thought and buy us some time as we make an elegant retreat.

The Ghetto Geeks? I feel scared already.

Kind regards etc....


Why do we feel the need to drag ourselves down to the level of that restaurant blog? Who is "we" anyway? The next thing you know that odd person who calls himself Owl Meat will be visiting here on a regular basis. Is that what "we" want?

John, this is an island of sanity in a sea of chaos and mediocrity. Don't change.

it's high time we seemed tough and faintly threatening Yea, that's going to happen whilst the debate rages over a versus an before an H word. Ooooo, that's threatening.

BTW, Mr edward II, you'd do well to watch the attacks on 'that restaurant blog.' They are still finding pieces of the last person to impugn the Sandbox. If the Girls, or the League of Roberts, or worse, OMG or Voodoopork get wind of that, I feel sorry for your next of kin.

Take it outside, boys. This is a respectable establishment.

I like The Study and The Parlor.

I quite like The Parlor. It gives me the feel of sophisticated men and ladies sitting around sipping cognac and puffing on their pipes while they debate the use of the word "booty-licious" (a word that was recently introduced into the OED) in common language. It sounds spectacular. Also, the men can wear bow ties. Does that give us some street cred, John?

Hi RtSO,

Passing notes to you in Study Hall sounds like fun. We just have to watch out for the proctor.

Actually, the Sandbox could benefit from some intervention by Mr. McIntyre right now. They're discussing "gold gilded suckling pig".

The Rim.

How about The Antic Pedantics?

JB Dryden - nice imagery, I like it. The Parlor appears to be gaining some currency, right enough, although I'd also be happy to vote for your own suggestion of The Apple Polishers - if this ever actually comes round to a vote, of course. We may grow old here, I suspect.

The good thing about The Parlor, however, is that it would allow British visitors (myself included) to quietly seethe at the American spelling of the word. This feels apt, really, given the surroundings in which we meet.

Kind regards etc....

Should the Parlor come to be the consensus term for the readers of this blog, Britons and citizens of the Commonwealth nations will be authorized to use the spelling Parlour without reproach.

Ms Lee, I fear we may have to take our note passing back to the Sandbox because while the proctor has a clear sense of whimsy, the rest of the folk seem more concerned with their elbow patches than persiflage and badinage.

I hate hate hate the term Sandbox. (Ironic given that the only known photo of me is this.) It's infantile and doesn't have anything to do with the D@L topics. There was never any group thought on the idea.

Maybe you could come on up with a better name for D@L too. I fear that ship has sailed.

I find the act of naming fraught with existential problems.

Isn't the act of self-naming a bit, uhh.... How about the Hubrists? Just for the self-naming.

Now, now. If ever there was a place for airy persiflage, this is surely it.

Hey, Sandbox Boy, while I might have started the whole sandbox thing, it wasn't an attempt to name. It was a passing remark that got pick-up and used by several others and it quickly stuck. I always feel guilty that it upsets you so.

So, does The Parlor/Parlour win?

You had me at persiflage.

I always forget to downshift when I come here.

The Persiflagery. Well, they grow oranges in an Orangery.

RtSo, I love you!

Oh, Ms Eve, want to meet in the stacks?

Robert, does Book know about you and Eve?

Shhh. That's why I picked the Stacks. Lots to distract Book.

[Dahlink, do you know how weird this stuff must sound to the Elbow Patch Brigade that don't know us denizens of the Sandbox. Oh well, their loss.]

RtSO: maybe Eve has a friend for Book. You could double.

And, somehow, Abigail and I were yelled at and told to get a room...

Bucky, you and Abigail were intensely obnoxious and if y'all'd behaved that way over at the sandbox, more than McC would have had a lot to say. I am still stunned that no one here in Wordville cared enough to say something. Buck, Babe, you were tedious!

Mr. McIntyre was LHAO when he posted that, Eve. And not at "y'all'd".

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?

This was thought to be hunorous in my youth:

Party A (the butt of ridicule): I didn't come here to be made sport of.

Party B: Where do you go to be made sport of?

Bucky, you and Abigail were intensely obnoxious

Sorry I missed it. Under what post Eve?

For devoted readers of "You Don't Say"?

The Silent Majority

I think Eve was referring to the post of Oct. 30 entitled "Enough Of Palin's Wardrobe" (can't imagine why you passed that one up). BTW, I don't share Eve's opinion that Bucky was obnoxious but you be the judge.


From Webster’s, a gentleman is:

1. “A man of good breeding, education, and manners.”

3. “A civilized, educated, sensitive, or well-mannered man.”

While I do not know Mr. McIntyre, the form and content of his blog evoke for me the image of a true gentleman. We can remove the gender-specific part, while preserving the essence. Those that enjoy this blog might well be referred to as “gentlefolk.”

Yes, the name lacks alliteration, rhyming, punniness, self-deprecation, flash, braggodicio, toughness, cool, and misguided attempts at “style.” Seems about right. Lots of steak; sizzle when warranted.

Laura Lee - yeah, in retrospect, I was being pretty obnoxious. I'll cop to that. I just got caught up in the double-dog-dare Abigail threw down, that she could perservere longer than I.

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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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