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Somebody noticed me

An email in the in-box at work from advises me that I should put You Don’t Say up for consideration for The Best Grammar Blog of 2011 or, out of modesty, engage someone else to nominate me.*

I would prefer not to. This blog has too small an audience—much as I prefer to think of you as “select” and “discerning.” And I’m really a working hack down at the paragraph factory, turning this thing out with the left hand. I’m no Grammar Girl.

Beyond that, upon nomination I would have to keep at you to vote for me. I have little shame—which you know if you’ve looked at any of the video jokes—but self-promotion is tedious.

Instead, I think you should go to and vote for someone more worthy. Editor Mark has been nominated, and Language Hat and Sentence First and Throw Grammar from the Train and The Editor’s Desk. Many others, and probably more to come.

Put someone else on the red carpet.


*Good God. While writing this, I see that someone already has.



Posted by John McIntyre at 4:34 PM | | Comments (6)


My own disinclination to compete in this contest should in no wise be taken as disparaging those who do.

I’m no Grammar Girl.

No--and a good thing, too!

Of all the grammar blogs that I peruse,
Your erudite opinions do I use.

And for this doggerel...excuse.

Yours is the one I follow because instead of talking about mechanics, you talk about meaning. The others you've mentioned I've tried to follow and stopped.

So, don't feel bad if I vote for you anyways.

Practical advice here for a working stiff, forgiveness for a sinner, and a sense of humor.

Prof. McI.,

Don't sell yourself too short, Mr. 'Mac'.

Your rather sheepish, "Somebody noticed me", header immediately reminded me of a young, and very elated Sally Field some decades back, accepting her first (?) Oscar statuette, and blurting out to her assembled Hollywood peers, "You like me!...... You really DO like me!"........ or words to that effect.

Well John, if i may be so bold as to vouch for our little coterie of regular "You Don't Say" bloggers, "We really DO like YOU."

And, by the way, as a fellow sinistra (left-hander) I have to support the 'home' team. HA!

Sadly, in today's overcrowded, everything-from-soup-to-nuts blogosphere, size DOES matter. Generally the continuing viability, and staying power of any given blog is measured by the number of 'hits' (comments, or views) generated over time. Mucho hits invariably translates into online gold. (Not necessarily shekels-type gold.)

So you've suggested that your blog audience is "too small" to warrant being even a mere contender in this "The Best Grammar Blog of 2011" contest?

I, for one, respectfully have to disagree. In your particular case, size really DOESN'T matter. It's precisely your, as you put it, "select" and "discerning" cast of 'usual suspect' bloggers, responding to your consistently high-caliber articles put up daily for discussion that IMHO make "You Don't Say" the standout, exceptionally engaging, and just-plain-fun site that it continues to be.

You may say you have "little shame", but you clearly do have self-effacing modesty, and
abiding civility in spades. Not to mention your erudition, wit, and strong personal convictions. (Oops, I guess i just did.)

Kind blogmeister McIntyre, you will alway rank as numero uno in our books.

John, you may feel that blogs like Language Log, Throw Grammar From the Train, and Sentence First have a leg up on you in a head-to-head competition, but bottom line, it really isn't about who has the best, or most popular site. I would argue that it's more about all you guys, and gals keeping the wider grammar/ lexicographic/ linguistic discussion relevant, engaging, fun, and fresh, for all of us committed, avid bloggers. (Or is that 'should be committed' bloggers? HA!)

In my view, the incidental awards, and kudos garnered along the way are just mere frothy icing on the cake.


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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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