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Monday, bloody Monday again

So you’re at work today, goofing off at the Internet, while I, with the day off from the paragraph factory, am at the computer, about to work on an editing project. Poor devils all.

Assuming that you have already checked out the joke of the week at baltimoresun,com, here are some other things you can amuse yourself with instead of the things you are supposed to be doing.

If you are fluent in Ebonics, the dialect of English sometimes called black English, the Department of Justice might offer you a job. A reader forwarded this link to The Smoking Gun.

A couple of people have called my attention to, an effort to keep older words in circulation as they are pushed out of dictionaries by newer words. Feel free to adopt and use obscure words, and damn the eyes of anybody who tells you that you shouldn’t use any words that would be unfamiliar to a graduate of an American public high school.

A proud tweet from @PeterSokolowski points to a redesign at It is indeed a handsome new version of a site that all of you should be using regularly.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out at Language Log the most impressive crash blossom yet. It is, of course, British, since British sub-editors have advanced the art well beyond anything American copy editors have accomplished: Council hires ban bid taxi firm. Watching the linguists try to wrestle this one to the ground is a major part of the fun.

Now, aren’t there other things you should be getting around to?



Posted by John McIntyre at 10:59 AM | | Comments (4)


Busted! Just didn't want to edit the user guide in front of me.

Wired Magazine--a loathsome rag that I got a free sub for in a contest--calls attention to a new American dialect: "Teabonics." This refers to the garbled messages on Tea Party members' signs; you know, "Make Engelush the offical languge of America!"

Seems it'd probably be more appropriate to say AAE is the dialect of American English sometimes known as "Ebonics," which I'm surprised to see in a professional context.

There may be "detractors" who don't think it's a dialect. They're the same sort of people who think the world is flat, to get technical about it. That's a made-up dilemma, and TSG ought to know better.

I expect the linguists who occasionally get called as expert witnesses could make a better case, but seems to me it'd be a good idea to have at the ready some sort of certification that the transcript you're introducing as evidence actually says what you claim it does. But common sense doesn't always carry the day, does it?

Save the words was not offering anything that I just have to adopt but I do love the pick me! voices.

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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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