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Sometimes on Sunday

It’s Sunday and hot, and I’m tired from a week’s work (lazy, too), and besides, it’s a holiday weekend, what do you want from me? Here are some short takes.


Brian Throckmorton, an extremely capable journalist unceremoniously dropped as an assistant managing editor last year by the Herald-Leader in Lexington, Kentucky, announces on Facebook that he has been engaged as features slot editor by the Courier-Journal in Louisville.

This is an arrangement by which he and the Courier-Journal will both benefit.

Memorial Day

The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan has reached 1,000. Those are losses of a magnitude hard to grasp. Today’s Baltimore Sun has a front-page story on the ten Marylanders who have died in Afghanistan during the past year. You can look at their faces and ponder what they were willing to risk and give up for their country.

You can also read in the Los Angeles Times Tim Rutten’s eloquent essay on the significance of this particular Memorial Day.

Oh no, not the Beeb

Language Log invites you to speculate on the meaning of this classic crash blossom headline from the BBC:

Missing women police find remains

Hint: The meaning involves a nominal compound.

Posted by John McIntyre at 12:24 PM | | Comments (2)


The link I'm sent to doesn't say "Missing woman police" but "Missing women police." Something I would carefully fix in 45 seconds. I envy those who have more time to devote to these issues.

"Missing woman police ..." has now been changed, making my original observation nonsensical. Uh, thanks!

Anyway, the hed blossom could easily be fixed in under a minute by an adult copy editor.

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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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