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By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | August 27, 2013
I suspect puckish intent in the incomparable Kory Stamper's post at harm-less drudg-ery  on the prescriptivist-descriptivist divide. Though I have commended "A Compromise: How To Be A Reasonable Prescriptivist" to you previously, I would like to admire a couple of the finer points.  Though the overall intent and tone are as irenic as anyone could wish, I noticed a few sly touches guaranteed to rattle the peeververein. A terminal preposition was the least. There was also a "the hoi polloi.
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By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | March 19, 2014
The lights are about to dim for a couple of days at You Don't Say  as I leave to frolic and cavort at the American Copy Editors Society's national conference in Las Vegas. (Vegas, baby!)  Those of you who have never attended an ACES conference (and I am deeply sympathetic about your deprivation) may find it difficult to imagine how much fun a group of three hundred editors can be (and I am deeply sympathetic about your lack of imagination).  But Mignon Fogarty (Grammar Girl!
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NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | January 25, 2013
At harm-less drudg-ery , the nonpareil Kory Stamper of Merriam-Webster reflects on what wany people want of a dictionary : Authority, Morality, Law-giving, Bet-settling. She contrasts that with what dictionaries humbly offer instead: words and how people use them.  Here's a key sentence: We enter the words “murder” and “headcheese” into the dictionary, but that shouldn't be read as advocacy for trying either one of them.  I commend the entire essay to you. It is an hoot.   
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2014
Part 1: Trouble wears cheaters   Part 2: Perfidious Albion   Part 3: The hotsy-totsy lexicographer   Part 4: The test Kory Stamper listened to what Turner had told me and frowned. She went to the door and shouted into the Scriptorium: “Sokolowski, get over here! That gumshoe from Baltimore thinks he's on to something.” A shudder swept through the room, as if someone had set off a cherry bomb among Trappists, and Peter Sokolowski scuttled over, worry as plain on him on him as the gin blossoms on a publisher's nose.
NEWS
By John McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | November 17, 2013
It was I who allowed menurkey * in a front-page headline in today's Baltimore Sun . I am terribly sorry, and it shan't happen again. At least for 77,000 years.   But once Thanksgivukkah is mercifully past, and Christmas and New Year's, along with their attendant gluttony, excessive drinking, and retail binges, there are events the expectation of which may help carry us through the gloom of winter.  Item. I have begun drafting Grammarnoir 6: Grammar Never Takes a Vacation . It would be wrong to give you clues about what's in store, especially since I'm not yet sure of all of it myself, but I can confidently predict that it will be in keeping with its predecessors.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | March 19, 2014
The lights are about to dim for a couple of days at You Don't Say  as I leave to frolic and cavort at the American Copy Editors Society's national conference in Las Vegas. (Vegas, baby!)  Those of you who have never attended an ACES conference (and I am deeply sympathetic about your deprivation) may find it difficult to imagine how much fun a group of three hundred editors can be (and I am deeply sympathetic about your lack of imagination).  But Mignon Fogarty (Grammar Girl!
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2014
Part 1: Trouble wears cheaters   Part 2: Perfidious Albion   Part 3: The hotsy-totsy lexicographer   Part 4: The test Kory Stamper listened to what Turner had told me and frowned. She went to the door and shouted into the Scriptorium: “Sokolowski, get over here! That gumshoe from Baltimore thinks he's on to something.” A shudder swept through the room, as if someone had set off a cherry bomb among Trappists, and Peter Sokolowski scuttled over, worry as plain on him on him as the gin blossoms on a publisher's nose.
NEWS
January 17, 2012
Sorry to have no video joke on offer this week. The holiday staffing schedules got in the way of recording, but the joke of the week will return next week. There is still time for you to sign up for “Charged Language: Dealing with the Unspeakable in Copy,” my audio conference for Copyediting newsletter. It runs 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. this Thursday, January 12, and you'll have an opportunity to express your own concerns and views about dealing with profanity, vulgarisms, euphemisms, and similarly ticklish topics.
NEWS
John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore sun | February 2, 2012
I am deeply indebted to Kory Stamper of Merriam-Webster for the latest post at  harm-less drudg-ery , for a Latin tag that explains much.  Ms. Stamper tweeted one of those plain facts of lexicography the other day, one that I, too have remarked on, that irregardless , though scorned in formal written English, is nevertheless as word. And has been for some time. For merely stating a simple truth, she was inundated with comments of the YOUR A MORON variety.  Philosophically, she turned to the Latin tag that now gives me comfort:  Aliqua non possunt quin merdam moveare , “There are those who cannot help but stir the turd.” (I believe that responsible translation might permit an alternative monosyllable for turd .)
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | September 27, 2012
Writing at Johnson,  Robert Lane Greene mentions a BBC article on Americanisms infiltrating British usage . This is familiar reader bait. Nothing in Britain gets those empurpled wattles jiggling more reliably than alarums about Americanisms. Though it's usually done in something a little more downmarket than the Beeb. Often, examination of the complaints will demonstrate that the despised expression ( gotten  rather than got  used to be a favorite) is actually a British usage older than Gammer Gurton's grandam.  Meanwhile, Ben Yagoda has been patiently cataloging British expressions that have slyly crossed the Atlantic to embed themselves in good American prose.   Gone missing  is the one he focuses on in Slate . I suppose it crept in under the radar as I was watching John Thaw as Inspector Morse on PBS or reading Reginald Hill's Dalziel-Pascoe mysteries.
NEWS
By John McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | November 17, 2013
It was I who allowed menurkey * in a front-page headline in today's Baltimore Sun . I am terribly sorry, and it shan't happen again. At least for 77,000 years.   But once Thanksgivukkah is mercifully past, and Christmas and New Year's, along with their attendant gluttony, excessive drinking, and retail binges, there are events the expectation of which may help carry us through the gloom of winter.  Item. I have begun drafting Grammarnoir 6: Grammar Never Takes a Vacation . It would be wrong to give you clues about what's in store, especially since I'm not yet sure of all of it myself, but I can confidently predict that it will be in keeping with its predecessors.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | August 27, 2013
I suspect puckish intent in the incomparable Kory Stamper's post at harm-less drudg-ery  on the prescriptivist-descriptivist divide. Though I have commended "A Compromise: How To Be A Reasonable Prescriptivist" to you previously, I would like to admire a couple of the finer points.  Though the overall intent and tone are as irenic as anyone could wish, I noticed a few sly touches guaranteed to rattle the peeververein. A terminal preposition was the least. There was also a "the hoi polloi.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | January 25, 2013
At harm-less drudg-ery , the nonpareil Kory Stamper of Merriam-Webster reflects on what wany people want of a dictionary : Authority, Morality, Law-giving, Bet-settling. She contrasts that with what dictionaries humbly offer instead: words and how people use them.  Here's a key sentence: We enter the words “murder” and “headcheese” into the dictionary, but that shouldn't be read as advocacy for trying either one of them.  I commend the entire essay to you. It is an hoot.   
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | August 12, 2012
On my desk at The Sun and on my shelves at Loyola and home are copies of Webster's New World College Dictionary . As old as I am, the dictionary is in common use in newsrooms and is the reference dictionary for the Associated Press Stylebook . But back in March, Allan Metcalf reported at Lingua Franca that the dictionary may be moribund. There appear to be no lexicographers actively at work to update it, and he can get no information on its status from the publisher, John Wiley & Sons.
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