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By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | February 11, 2013
“Grammarnoir 5: The Shame of the Prose” is a four-part serial, running on Mondays from February 11 until the thrilling conclusion on March 4, National Grammar Day.  Grammarnoir is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance of characters to any persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.   Part 1: See a Fellow About a Scam He was a pudgy little man with a suit that might have fit him a couple of hundred Denny's grand slams ago. His eyes wouldn't stop roaming around the room, and he was beginning to sweat, even though the outfit I work for doesn't throw around simoleons on heat for the help.
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NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2014
For reporters, writing online must seem like admission to heaven. No space limits, no damn copy editor ruthlessly cutting forty lines of burnished prose to make it fit the page. Little interference from an editor, or even, bless us and save us, no editor at all .  Unfortunately, the online writer falls victim to the same fallacy entertained by the print writer: Because it's published , people read my stuff.* A couple of days ago, Craig Schmidt, formerly of the Star-Ledger , posted this comment on Facebook to the link to my post "Wait, wait, don't hang all the editors" : "What we've really lost -- especially online -- is making every word count.
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SPORTS
By Dale Austin and Dale Austin,Sun Staff Correspondent | October 22, 1990
LAUREL -- The choice of what nation a horse is to represent during the International Turf Festival usually depends on where he is stabled or where most of his races have been.That's why owner H.C. Seymour thought he would hear "La Marseillaise," the French national anthem, after his gelding, Roman Prose, won the $250,000 Grade III Laurel Dash yesterday at Laurel Race Course.So Seymour and others were stunned when the band played "God Save The Queen." In other words, track management was saying Roman Prose represented England, although he hadn't been there since August 1989.
NEWS
By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | July 3, 2014
Allen Grossman,a prize-winning poet who spent 15 years teaching his craft to students at the Johns Hopkins University, died June 27 at his home in Chelsea, Mass. He was 82 and had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease. "Allen was an inimitable instructor," said Douglas Basford, assistant director of composition at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and a former student of Dr. Grossman's at Hopkins. Remembering a class he audited in poetry and poetics, Mr. Basford recalled the instructor "probing and prodding to get, as he did in his critical prose, to the core of how a poem worked [and]
NEWS
By DAVE ROSENTHAL | June 21, 2009
Mary McCauley opened her recent Read Street review of All the Living with these thoughts: Can a writer write too well? Can a prose style be too gorgeous? She was referring to C.E. Morgan's lush prose, which she admires. But McCauley noted that a friend was "so aware of the painterly quality of Ms. Morgan's imagery, that it interfered with her ability to immerse herself in the world of the novel." I worry about a related trend. We're so frantic to devour the Next Big Thing, or catch up on our book club pick, that we can scarcely be bothered with a book that challenges us with its style or subject matter.
SPORTS
By Bonnie DeSimone and Bonnie DeSimone,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 30, 2004
Brandi Chastain's teammates called her "Hollywood" long before she ripped off her jersey to celebrate her 1999 World Cup-winning goal and kicked her own marketing potential into a new gear. Initially, the cheerfully self-promoting Chastain was ambivalent about the attention generated by a gesture she insists was unpremeditated. "So many other things were happening," she said of the soccer team's sudden ascension to pop-star status. "Why do we have to focus on this?" Five years later, Chastain acknowledges the bra is ... well, still a good hook.
FEATURES
September 2, 2003
On the last Sunday in June, Lt. Kylan Jones-Huffman, a Navy reservist stationed in Bahrain, e-mailed a poem to members of his online haiku group. He said he dedicated the poem to his friend Marianne, "whose good friend was killed this past week, somewhere south of Baghdad." late night call - the remains will arrive on Thursday the weather here not much different from Iraq Jones-Huffman might not have known the soldier who'd been killed, but "I'm sure I passed over the report in the daily summary," he wrote.
NEWS
March 5, 2006
A Changed Man Francine Prose Harper Perennial / 421 pages / $14.95 Prose's satire concerns a purportedly reformed white supremacist who wants now to lend his services to a human rights organization. Prose "delivers a well-crafted, ironic and insightful tale of the darker side of human nature," we said last year.
NEWS
August 9, 1993
Henry Lee, 82, legendary New York Daily News rewrite man whose snappy, lucid prose illuminated most of the major stories of half a century, died Friday of cancer in Sudbury, Mass. Born in Bridgeport, Conn., Mr. Lee started his writing career as editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper. From that point on, and except for the years he attended Harvard University (Class of '34), he was writing for newsprint -- he worked for the Bridgeport Times-Star, the Bridgeport Post, the New York World-Telegram and, from 1946 to 1979, The Daily News.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | June 18, 2014
When, for a change of pace, I turned last week to actually good prose , a few of you suggested that I might make such an excursion a regular feature. Let's give it a try.  Here is an extract from Adam Gopnik's "The Back of the World: The Troubling Genius of G.K. Chesterton," in The New Yorker  of 7 and 14 July 2008.  The text There are two great tectonic shifts in English writing. One occurs in the early eighteenth century, when Addison and Steele begin The Spectator  and the stop-and-start of Elizabethan-Stuart prose becomes the smooth, Latinate, elegantly wrought ironic style that dominated English writing for two centuries.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | May 15, 2014
Yesterday, writing about Ammon Shea's Bad English , I encouraged peevers to examine their consciences. Well, I've had a look at mine, and it isn't pretty.  One of the peeves he describes and explodes is the prejudice against fun  as an adjective. "It's a noun !" peevers shout. Well, though Dr. Johnson called it "a low cant word," fun  (a verb among thieves before it was a noun) has been used as an adjective since the nineteenth century.  As it moved from mere adjective in the sense that no one objects to ("The party was fun")
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | May 1, 2014
My estimable colleague Mark Allen, tweeting today as @EditorMark, reminds us: " You 'lay' something. But, annoyingly, 'lay' also is the past tense of 'lie.' Lay an object down. Lie down. He lay down. (It was laid down.)" I learned the  lie/lay  distinction in the fifth grade under the firm direction of Mrs. Jessie Perkins, who brooked no dissent over usage, and I have diligently observed it without fail for the past half-century as teacher's pet, college student, graduate student, and copy editor.  But Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage  points out that though the distinction, first established in the eighteenth century, has been maintained stolidly by grammarians, schoolteachers, and editors in formal written English, they have had little effect on spoken usage.  Thus "the conflict between oral use and school instruction has resulted in the distinction between lay  and lie  becoming a social shibboleth--a marker of class and education.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | April 18, 2014
Earlier today, Robert of Cross Keys, a longtime reader here at Wordville, made this request on Facebook: "I would love to know the secret of making edits quickly and decisively, so that I may share it with my bosses who live to re-edit. If my office were a newsroom, we would still be tweaking the story of the Hindenburg disaster, while the piece on Kennedy's assassination would remain in draft form. " Hoping the Fellowship of the Rim will forgive me for betraying the secrets of the craft: Editing is like sculpting Michelangelo's David : You take a chunk of marble and chisel away everything that isn't David.
NEWS
By Jonah Goldberg | March 17, 2014
In case you hadn't heard, young people these days -- aka "the millennials" -- are the most cynical and distrusting generation ever recorded. Only 19 percent think most people can be trusted. According to a big study from the Pew Research Center, they are less attached to marriage, religion and political institutions than Gen Xers, baby boomers and the other demographic flavors journalists love to use. They like their friends, their digital "social networks" and their toys, and that's about it. Not even a majority will call themselves "patriotic.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | March 30, 2013
By request, and because in a few days I will be at the American Copy Editors Society's national conference with several people who, by the uncanniest of coincidences, bear the same names as certain characters, here is the fifth Grammarnoir serial in one take.   GRAMMARNOIR 5: THE SHAME OF THE PROSE “Grammarnoir 5: The Shame of the Prose” is a four-part serial, running on Mondays from February 11 until the thrilling conclusion on March 4, National Grammar Day.  Grammarnoir is a work of fiction.
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