I love my clients, part 3

Yes, it’s true. I love my clients. And I love ’em even when their requests are outside-the-pale goofy. Take yesterday, for example. Dear customer called in the morning to ask if we could edit a 100-page proposal by end of day. Our response: No prob, Bob, send it on. Customer then called back to say we only needed to edit …

Pew Foundation on the future of the Internet

Those of you involved in writing for the web, or in using social media as part of your marketing and communications campaigns, may be interested in reading this report. It’s the Pew Internet Project’s report on “the Internet and American Life,” and includes projections on how Internet-based technologies will affect American’s work lives and private lives. Particularly interesting is Pew’s …

Fugly punctuation (or lack thereof)

So one of my personal BBEs (best blogs ever), Go Fug Yourself, discusses the lack on punctuation in the title of the show So You Think You Can Dance Australia. See? Even the Fug Girls get the fact that bad punctuation confuses meaning.

Land of Typos, part exasperation

From a research report: “The report further suggests that the reliance on debt financing further exasperates the issue and that capital needs of the antiquated system are growing faster than revenues.” I believe the author meant that debt financing would exacerbate (i.e., increase) the issue, not exasperate (i.e., frustrate) the issue. I always get a little flutter in my stomach …

Goodbye to David Foster Wallace

My sister wrote this morning to tell me that David Foster Wallace had died. Found dead Friday night by his wife. He had apparently hanged himself. Mr. Wallace was a writer so brilliant that I often felt that the back of my head was opening up when I read his words. A writer so talented that he could hold together …

Editors with attitude? No thanks

Been thinking about an article I read a couple of weeks ago about the so-called “Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL).” TEAL is nothing but two guys, Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson, who’ve spent the past summer traveling the United States and correcting typos on public signage. Things you see all the time, like “Bobs Donuts” instead of “Bob’s Donuts.” The …

Ode to “The Elements of Style”

Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post reflects on a half-century with Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. Good reading for anyone who cherishes this volume — not necessarily as a style guide — but as an embodiment of concise writing.

Princeton learns the high cost of cheap copyediting

Oh, dear. Princeton University Press is recalling all copies of one of its spring titles after discovering more than 90 spelling and grammar errors in the 245-page work. The book, Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore’s Eastern District, by Peter Moskos, was published May 1 in an initial press run of 4,000 copies. Believe it or not, the …

A writer in the making?

My mom recently found this essay I wrote back in 1977, apparently just for fun. Typos, odd spellings, etc., left intact. “Summer of ’77” After school was out (june i0) I had decided to go to day camp. It was not like I expected it to be. The first day it sprinkled, so we could not go swiming. THen we …

New York Times: Celebrating the Semicolon

The New York Times writes on the New York Public Transit System’s proper use of the semicolon. The relevant sentence: “Please put it [your newspaper] in a trash can; that’s good news for everyone.” The use of a semicolon in this instance is indeed correct, but I would prefer a period or an em dash. Either would add more punch …