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Back in the day

On the wall of my office is a framed panel from an old Brenda Starr strip. A male reporter is lowering an unconscious woman with long dark hair onto a sofa, and in his thought balloon appear the words “I’ve got to get into something safe like editing.”

Would that it were still so.



Posted by John McIntyre at 3:34 PM | | Comments (4)


No, hang on. We've seen you doing your sit-down stand-up in the joke thingy, and you look perfectly at home (though somewhat spendidly attired) in what looks like a sheltered niche of an (for God's sake) open-plan office. Are you telling us you also have an Office of your own? You know, an Office? Place were you can make private phone calls and complete the crossword?

Sympathy wanes.

Yes, with a door.

Prof. McI.,

Stop the bloomin' presses!

So you're telling us, in not so many words, that that drab, nondescript office 'cube' in which your always conduct your video-taped joke-of-the-week histrionics, is NOT your actual work space; and that you, in point of fact, luxuriate, all by your lonesome, in posh, totally enclosed office work quarters, w/ a functional ferkin' door, no less?

Say it ain't so, Brenda Starr!

And further, an office in which, when said door is firmly closed (or locked), you can do things even more daring than, as Picky noted, "make private phone calls and complete the crossword".

Hmm...... perchance loosen that signature bowed cravat, muss up you snow white locks, or (snicker!),,,,,,,,,,, well I'll leave the rest to the fertile, oft perverse imaginations of the rest of your loyal blogging fraternity.

Does make perfect sense, in my view, that you should merit an actual four-walled, floored, doored, and ceilinged bona fide office space, hopefully w/ the added bonus of a large window looking out over the Charm City skyline. (Although as night content production manager you'd be watching the city evening lights, and perhaps a celestial body, or two, no? That Brenda Starr had some body, no?

Frankly, being the rather responsible, current Sun's aforementioned night content production manager, I just can't visualize your urbane and natty self out there on the main floor, as just one of the regular copy editing drones---- those industrious, dedicated busy 'bees' confined to their cramped, tiny, roughly 8' X 10' 'cubes', putting in their 8-to-10 hour- day-in-day-out shifts, ensuring that the Sun's editorial print fare is the best it can possibly be----readable, coherent, factually accurate, and most importantly, grammatically and syntactically correct.

As far as engaging , or interesting print content, that's clearly up to the columnists, field reporters, and regular news writing staff, I'd imagine.

Do tell, do you have a 'casting couch' in that spiffy office of yours? You know, from which you can practice your fly fishing (casting) technique. HA! Professor, your earlier Brenda Starr comic strip reference kind of sent my naughty imagination reeling. (No fishing-themed pun intended.)


Hang on. There's a woman passed out in your office?

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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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