Category Archives: copy editing

live from NOLA! Dubious alignment

More like “alignment breaks” AM I RIGHT??

spotted today on S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans.

Editor in chief

Everyone needs a  good editor, even the prez:

wait, I forget: is Dumpster politics capitalized or not?

Photo from the White House as posted on Flickr. Official description:

President Barack Obama and Jon Favreau, head speechwriter, edit a speech on health care in the Oval Office, Sept. 9, 2009, in preparation for the president’s address to a joint session of Congress. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Copy editing: it’s what separates us from the animals people. Don’t be scared of it.

Hearting of BK continues

Spotted Sunday on a sign at near the 11th Street Prospect Park entrance:


Remember: use less with a mass noun, fewer with a count noun.

Easy example: “I have less money than you, which means I have fewer dollar bills.”

More from Grammar Girl.

WordPress is unaware it exists

Off-topic laughable discovery of a moment ago: WordPress’ spell checker does not recognize the word “blog.” Suggestions include: “bog log blag bloc biog bldg blow blob blot clog.”

Blag? Bldg? But not blog? That’s enough to bloc up the intertubes with a back log blob of bad clogs.

I love this. It’s like Microsoft Word not recognizing the word “processor,” or NeoOffice not recognizing the phrase “cripplingly long-loading unwieldy waste of disk space application.”

“Blag,” fyi, means: A means of obtaining something by trick or deception; An armed robbery; Fake, not genuine; To steal; To deceive, to perpetrate a hoax; “You’re wearing a blag designer shirt!”

Not to be confused with Rod Blag’s Rad Blog. He certainly tried to blag his way into some cash for that Senate seat, for sure.

Meet for breakfast

More need for vigilante copy editing:

delicious meet

delicious meet

on a menu at Miriam on 5th ave in the slope.

Vigilante copy editing

Where own risk?

Where own risk?

At the Atlantis Laundromat on Atlantic Ave. The world still needs copy editors, continued. But they did have a still-functional California Speed machine, so I let it slide. The broken Marvel vs. Capcom game next to it was a box of sadness, however.

If all other pursuits fail in New York City, maybe I can work as a vigilante copy editor. I guess I  have that subconscious compulsion as is, like when I pulled out my marker to correct a “first come, first serve” error on a sign at work yesterday. New York seems to have more poorly edited signs than journalism job opportunities right now.

There’s already a character called The Question, though his heroism is

Who were The Question?

Who were The Question?

neither punctuation- nor syntax- nor grammar-related. But he is a ruthless absolutist, as all good copy editors should be.

NYC: Wraping up the print industry

So, fine, print is basically dead, whatever, I’m getting over it, and I’m probably not even going to join that Facebook group “Don’t Let Newspapers Die,” because unless the group plans to nail its messages to the doors of newspaper executives in the middle of the night Martin-Luther style, it’s an exercise in cosmic futility, not to mention that their stated positions are pretty vapid and unconvincing, even to me, a guy who has cried tears of ink of many a night watching this death spiral unfold. The positions are, as directly quoted:

  1. Newspapers are an important & historic public resource.
  2. Journalism is vitally important to the impartial gathering & reporting of news.
  3. Newspapers are cool!

At this point, better arguments for the continued existence of newspapers (as Michael Shapiro and I spent a day brainstorming on for our proposed newspaper survival advertising campaign) have to appeal to practicality. Some ideas include:

* You can’t wrap a present in the internet
* Why waste a good towel when your dog throws up on your floor?
* An iPhone won’t keep you dry in a pinch during a rainstorm
* Birdcages look naked without it
* Try stuffing your wet shoes with internet and see what happens
* Your Twitter post doesn’t transfer onto silly putty
* Without newspapers, what are you going to whack your cat with?

See? Much more practical. Appeal to the physical realm, because apparently no one cares that the high-quality investigations and storytelling of newspapers has yet to be fully replicated elsewhere, or that through history newspapers have served critical roles in shaping our democracy. Boooo-ring. But start telling people they’ll actually have to buy wrapping paper even for those I-hate-this-person-but-feel-obligated-to-go-to-their-birthday-party occasions, and we might start to get some traction.

Print may be dead, but it’s clear the world still needs copy editors. This is just from the course of a few hours wandering around the city yesterday. I let the signs in Chinatown slide. For now:

Farmers market in Union Square

Brocoli is, according to Google, a French record label. And only $2 a pound!

Dan Quayle, your legacy is a strong one. Oh Sarah … you could have been destined for such great things too.

Harder to see, but the sign says “their hot.” I tried one. And indeed, the chili peppers’ hotness did belong to a group of people standing nearby.

My favorite, at a Duane Reade:

Yikes. Maybe if this is the only other option, people will finally start flocking back to newspapers, happy to entrust their gifts to the comics page rather than being forced to purchase roll after roll of wraping paper.