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Don't you know, they called the police in

HeadsUp: The Blog is embarking on a late-night campaign to stamp out the Police investigate headline. Praiseworthy. And the Police investigate lead sentence should follow it out the window.

As fev points out, the act that the police are investigating is pretty much always going to be of more interest to the reader than the police investigation—particularly one that has not yet turned anything up. And there’s the awful monotony of that formula turning up day after day in crime story after crime story.

Besides, if a woman is found dead in the yard of a southwest Charlotte home, after being dropped off at the unoccupied residence by a friend, who you gonna call, Ghostbusters?

Once fev has stamped that one out, perhaps he can turn his attention to the zebra mussel, the emerald ash borer, and starlings.



Posted by John McIntyre at 10:32 PM | | Comments (4)


Uh oh, I may be a heathen. What's the problem with the zebra mussel, the emerald ash borer, and starlings?

Starlings are an annoyance, of course, but how are they linguistic annoyance?

They're all invasive species, considered pests.

Can we please add purple loosestrife, Eurasion millfoil, and the Asian longhorn beetle to that list? (Although the zebra mussel may be the only one on fev's home turf, assuming it's made its way into Lake Erie by now.)

I got to my 15 page view limit with this post. I am annoyed that the only option for getting continued access involves giving the Sun my credit card information. As a print subscriber I would prefer to put it on that bill.

As I was about to say when I started, don't forget the stinkbug!

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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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