You Don't Say
John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to email@example.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.
Friday, July 14, 2017
As winter wore on, Kathleen found it increasingly bleak to come home to an empty house in the evenings while I was at work. So, though we had thought not to rush into finding another cat, she began researching.
And she found a notice of a rescue cat, a female ginger tabby who had been abandoned at a gas station in Winchester, Virginia, after the death of the woman in whose house she lived.
We applied to the rescue agency, we passed muster, we were granted an interview, and we met Massie.
The young woman who was fostering her named the cat Massanutten for the mountain near Winchestewr, "Massie" for short, and the name stuck. She was very shy with us at the interview, and we wondered whether we would be congenial if we adopted her.
No worries. She is very much a lap cat. She dozes in the afternoons on the cat tree by the window in what was once our son's room. She will scramble up and down the hall for the red dot of the laser pointer, which she understands that we operate. She has quite an odd quirk: When in one's lap, being stroked and purring, she will lash about with her tail and thwack the human repeatedly.
We are, for good or ill, cat people. We knew that no other cat could be to us what the late Mr. Saunders was, but Miss Massie has made a place for herself in our home and in our affections.
Monday, May 15, 2017
Yesterday, after eighty-four days in the neonatal intensive care unit, Julian, having passed all the tests, was released from the hospital and is home with my son and daughter-in-law. He looks grand, and all is well.
Next week I will be in Chicago to assist his fledgling parents in meeting his demands.
It is possible that there may be some stray moments away from bottles and diapers, and if any of who in Chicago who read this blog would like to meet for a coffee, please let me know. It may be possible.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Monday, January 16, 2017
Their high standards were in evidence in their quick and decisive evaluations of men on a dating site one had called up on her cellphone, but that palled and the conversation turned to excursions at friends' weddings.
There was a good bit of detail about getting hammered on the party bus and about staying awake for an entire night after multiple rounds of Red Bull and vodka. It was at that point that the bartender, who, like me, had been a silent listener, remarked that his bar didn't offer Red Bull. One of the young women commented, "At the bars in center city Philly, to keep the kids from Jersey out, they won't stock Red Bull."
I offer this bit of learning to friends and colleagues who also enjoy an occasional quiet pint: Your chances of avoiding the company of obnoxious drinkers will improve if you first ascertain that the bar does not stock Red Bull.
Friday, December 30, 2016
Friday, December 9, 2016
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
These photos, which recently surfaced in a folder deep in a file cabinet, were from the workshop I conducted there at the invitation of Pam Robinson.
Over the nineteen years since, as I have come to examine the things about English usage that I had been taught, looking at evidence in Bryan Garner's four edition of his usage manual, at the evidence presented by lexicographers and linguists about usage, and at the evidence of my own eyes, the advice in that workshop has undergone revision.
Saturday, October 1, 2016
A few weeks ago, there he was, the bane of my life in the third and fourth grades, my principal bully. I was a skinny bookworm and teacher's pet. He was bigger, more muscular, a halting student at best, and he was seldom at his best. He enjoyed tormenting me.
Now he is dead, an old guy, like me, apparently mourned by his daughters.
I don't visualize him as an adult with children. He is fixed in my head as he was then. The subsequent fifty-five years don't signify. (I will not describe him further, because he has children who mourn him.)
There is the problem. He is fixed in my head.
He, and the subordinate bullies who sometimes chimed in, established in my mind that I am someone to be bullied, someone who lacks power, someone with no recourse. My parents and teachers knew that I felt bullied, but they were at a loss to do anything beyond allowing the children to work it out on their own.
My bully, to my astonishment, metamorphosed into adult for whom someone could bear affection. I, in turn, metamorphosed into an adult with a family, a profession, a reputation, a standing.
But I am also someone who typically shies away from conflict and confrontation, because I was thoroughly programmed early on to see myself as unable to prevail in such circumstances.
Sixty-five years old, and I could still use some work.
Friday, September 30, 2016
Surely you don't think that it's wholesome for him to drink alone.