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More from the Old Editor

Tweets assembled.

The Old Editor says:

Dammit, if you think you're a professional, you should know that a hyphen isn't the same as a dash.

That's not editing; that's peristalsis.

Days off and vacations are a bad idea. They just habituate you to the illusion of leisure.

Reverse body type is a tool of the Devil.

Sitting in daily meetings shortens your life more than smoking cigarettes.

If the house you're writing about isn't Blenheim Palace, don't call it "stately."

Newsrooms operate on the same principles as the "Seinfeld" show: No hugging, no learning.

Learn how to make plural possessives of proper names, or it's off to the copy desk for re-education.

Read it in print too, Mr. Electronic Future of Journalism. You'll be stunned at how much you spot.

Use commas in compound sentences; omit them in compound predicates. (Ask a copy editor what those are.)

Use the God-given delete key on these: controversial, dramatic, legendary, massive, prestigious, storied.

Remember: It doesn’t get any better than this.



Posted by John McIntyre at 2:35 PM | | Comments (2)


re: Sitting in daily meetings shortens your life more than smoking cigarettes.

Conference calls cause brain cells to die.

And don't even get me started on webinars, Eve!

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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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