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You Don't Say

You Don't Say John E. McIntyre writes about language, usage, journalism & arbitrarily chosen subjects.
McIntyre Agonistes

A little while ago my latest “Rubbish you were taught” video went up, pointing out that the figurative use of literally is well established, widely understood, and largely unobjectionable.

Already cries of distress are going up, and I am accused of being blind Samson, pulling down the pillars of the English language.

Funny thing is, I don’t seem to be killing any Philistines.

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In a word: labyrinthine

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:

LABYRINTHINE

The original Labyrinth was the fearsomely complicated maze that Daedalus built for King Minos of Crete to house the Minotaur.

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Nobody cares

The people at Oxford Dictionaries thought it would be fun to do an online survey of the words people most dislike—presumably giving those people who loathe moist an opportunity to vent. But as The Guardian reports, the site had to be shut down almost immediately because people flooded it with obscenities and religious intolerance.

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Dullness our portion

One of the students in my editing class last semester complained in their student evaluation of the course about the dullness of the copy they edited.* Apparently the texts were about matters of no particular interest, as well as being badly written.

The texts in my editing course are from newspapers, most of which I have collected over the years from the staff of The Baltimore Sun.

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In a word: zeal

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:

ZEAL

St.

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Throwback Thursday: The Newsroom Fauna

Given the number of readers who have stumbled onto this blog in the past year or two, I do not apologize for recycling a set of previous posts. Some have suggested that these Linnaean classifications are not exclusive to newspapers. To those who have read this before, I advise, Horseman, pass by.        LINNAEUS ON THE COPY DESK  A partial catalogue of the denizens of the copy desk.

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72°