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Not attending Chelsea Clinton's wedding

1. Wasn’t invited.

2. Saturday’s a work day for me anyhow.

If you are at loose ends and miffed at having been left out, let me suggest that you amuse yourselves with Sally Quinn’s celebration of the nuptials in The Washington Post’s On Faith blog.

In fact, don’t just read it. Print it out and preserve it. It is the sort of thing that I expect will be read aloud at parties for some time to come. You could play a drinking game with everyone required to down a shot every time “we cry” occurs. Or you could place bets on whether the reader can get all the way to “the magic we want to believe in exists in all cultures and all beliefs” with a straight face.

Or maybe you could go about your business and leave the newlyweds alone.

A final grammatical point. Ms. Quinn appears to labor under the misapprehension that the plural of Clinton is Clinton’s and the plural of Obama is Obama’s. There are still people at The Post who know better, but presumably they were not consulted.

Posted by John McIntyre at 7:48 PM | | Comments (8)


I am crushed - crushed - that I was not invited to - Who did you say is being married?

This is so depressing. Women journalists fought for decades to break out of the "style section," where they were restricted to writing fluff about nonsense. Yet now we have Sally Quinn writing drivel so ridiculous, it would not have met the criteria of even the fluffiest style page.

We cry.

I wish all brides joy and happiness. I wish that I, personally, might never have to read another word written by Sally Quinn, although that thought is not new to this particular piece.

At first I thought Ms. Quinn was setting us up for an insightful piece on meaningless celebrity voyeurism. Then I found out it was merely a poorly edited, dreadfully written love note to the rich and powerful.

I think most people fail to share in her assertion that America has genuine personal concern for the welfare of this newly married couple. ("The former first daughter has become part of our lives. We have grown up with Chelsea. We have watched her mature and grow into a lovely young woman. We have an emotional investment in her, an attachment to her.")

Do most of us want them to have a happy marriage? Sure, but we would feel that way about any newlyweds; we do not withhold our good wishes from those who do not share this couple's celebrity status. Or perhaps Ms. Quinn does. I can't tell from such poor writing.

I think you're mistaken - it's clear that the Post eliminated proofreading and copyediting LONG ago.

Out of rampant curiosity, and perhaps because the heat and humidity have besogged my brain, I have just read Mrs Bradlee's adolescent column on THE WEDDING. (I personally never heard of the groom or his family but Sally Baby thinks we all know who they are. The personal touch - we are all One Big Family.) Anyway, my gut and subsequent reaction can be summed up thusly: "Dove il vomitorium?"

By writing "Dove il vomitorium?", Patricia the T, do you mean which way to the exit?

Vomitorium: 1754, "passage or opening in an ancient amphitheater, leading to or from the seats," from L. (Macrobius, Sat. , VI.iv); see vomit. Erroneous meaning "place where ancient Romans (allegedly) deliberately vomited during feasts" is attested from 1923.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Just wondering, thanks.

Well, given the subject, any definition that fits will do. I'd rather discuss CPE Bach, or potato salad.

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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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