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It's Friday, and I can't be bothered

It is the second ninety-plus-degree day in Baltimore in a row, and the Spring Pollen Offensive, which seemed finally to have left off, threw in a fresh division yesterday. Moreover, I have five sections to oversee during the next ten hours.

So, instead of something original, you’re getting served something about the writing life warmed over from The Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes:

George Watson on William Empson: “Revision claimed him. He had to revise until his prose ceased to bore even him. ‘I still have to put in the careless ease,’ he once remarked, sitting by the pond in his Hampstead garden, when I reproached him gently for not collecting his essays. ‘The careless ease always goes in last.’ ”

While you are unlikely to have a pond in Hampstead to linger by, I hope, as our long holiday weekend begins, that you at least have a cool place and a restorative beverage. You have my leave to put in the careless ease next week.



Posted by John McIntyre at 2:22 PM | | Comments (2)


Of course, an advantage of working on a holiday weekend is that once all the dilettantes are off the premises, it's possible to get some serious work done.

Over here it's 55 with a light drizzle. On the other hand, it's also jovial, comfortable, idle, Retirementland. Hey ho! Keep turning that treadmill, Mr McI!

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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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