Footage from police shooting shows threat to kids, decision to use lethal force

You Don't Say

You Don't Say John E. McIntyre writes about language, usage, journalism & arbitrarily chosen subjects.
Editors and the Little Dutch Boy syndrome

Three years ago at the American Copy Editors Society’s national conference, the editors of the Associated Press Stylebook announced that they were dropping the over/more than entry, and there was a mighty clamor. Last week, when ACES met in St. Petersburg, Florida, Colleen Newvine of the AP mentioned that people are still complaining about the decision.

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Where the words are brought in from the wild

That dictionary on the desk next to the computer is not like the other books in the room, books with authors, authors who express a voice and personality. That dictionary is a block of anonymous, impersonal Authority.

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A loss that cannot be repaired

One of the great attractions of the national conferences of the American Copy Editors Society, ever since the first at Chapel Hill in 1997, has been the opportunity to meet the grandees of editing. This week the ranks of the grandees have been seriously diminished with the death of Bill Walsh, his life cruelly cut short by cancer at fifty-five.

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In a word: purblind

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a relatively obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar, another brick to add to the wall of your vocabulary. This week's word:


Middle English combined pur, “pure,” with blind to make purblind (pronounced PURR-blind).

The word originally meant “completely blind,” but that sense is entirely archaic.

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A Stet in the Night, complete

A Stet in the Dark: A Grammar Noir Mystery


Part 1: The man with pince-nez

After forty years of making subjects and verbs agree, changing which to that and that to which, and deleting ’tis the season leads, I had packed it in at the paragraph game—free at last to spend my days reading Gibbon and terrorizing a small Episcopal parish.

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Taking requests

The little weekly videos on language that I record and Christina Tkacik produces have had remarkable success.

As I explain in a recent article by Thomas Vinciguerra in the Columbia Journalism Review, they have garnered something in the neighborhood of seven million views in the past six months.

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