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First Sunday without "On Language"

You have by now, even if you’re a slugabed, had a chance to glance at the Sunday New York Times and its excitingly redesigned magazine. And you will have noticed that “On Language” is missing from it.

These are people you can write to if you wish to criticize this shockingly bad decision (Complain, send, repeat):

NYT Magazine letters to the editor:

NYT Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren:

NYT public editor Arthur Brisbane:

You may also want to add your name to the growing crowd on the Keep “On Language” in the New York Times site on Facebook. (Nearly up to 800.)

As for me, I’ve written to Bill Keller, the editor of The Times. This dealing with underlings does not seem to be getting us anywhere.

I suggest that you do the same.


Posted by John McIntyre at 1:39 PM | | Comments (3)


Prof. McI.,

Hmm....... so dealing w/ the New York Times 'overlords', rather than their groveling "underlings" WILL get us somewhere in this unfortunate 'worst of 'Times', worst of 'Times' scenario? (Clearly there's no BEST of 'Times'.

Frankly, being out here on the Left Coast, I must confess I rarely read the New York Times, (let alone, their magazine), except for say some excerpted, or more precisely, bootlegged articles on-line. Astute, IMO barely right-of-center political columnist David Brooks comes immediately to mind.

I have enough of a formidable challenge doing justice to my meaty Sunday edition of the L.A. Times (quite the slog of a read), who in my view have 'borrowed' much of their evolving overall aesthetic (look), and formating style quite shamelessly from the venerable NY Times. Copy cats!

Sadly, our monthly L.A. Magazine (called "LA") , curiously, is delivered w/ our Sunday edition ONLY to those upper-crust subscribers living in say Brentwood, Beverly Hills, or Los Feliz, and other upwardly-mobile, more affluent neighborhoods.

Of course my pipsqueak, grittier, working-class, hard-scrabble community of Van Nuys gets short shrift, where we under-class folk are obliged to log on, or phone in to 'The Times' to initiate regular delivery of the 'mag' supplement, at no additional cost. (Thanks for small mercies.)

I guess Van Nuys' long-standing association w/ the 'seXXX-rated' film industry doesn't help. HA! (Frankly, if my little community here in The Valley is a veritable hotbed of smoldering porn production, these purveyors and producers of smut are keeping an amazingly low profile. Not that I've been doing any gumshoe sleuthing in that regard. Am I blushing? HA!)

Up till recently, one of my best, most reliable defenses of Van Nuys used to be that wacky, very cerebral NPR frequent commentator Sandra Tsing Loh at one time lived for quite a stretch right here, smack-dab, in our fair L.A. County municipality, and was even inspired to write a hilarious book titled, "A Year in Van Nuys"------a very funny recounting of her many trials and tribulations living in what some detractors have labelled one of 'the armpits' of the San Fernando Valley. Clearly, her title is an obvious play on author Peter Mayle's very popular, best-seller, "A Year in Provence".

Hmm..... not too may vineyards in Van Nuys and environs, although regrettably there is no shortage of winos. HA! (Just a little first-hand observational humor there. Nothing against winos, per se.)

Au revoir!


If the editors can't find the space to put the "On Language" column, I suggest they take another look at their beautiful, glamorous, useless, pointless two-page table of contents. Has anyone ever used the table of contents in a Sunday magazine? They're especially stupid now that the fashion is to be cagey about describing the contents:
"I had no idea about plastics".........34
Things and such..............................42
[photo of a leg]...............................56
The Collection................................58

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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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