January 05, 2005

Cranky Copy Editor Stuff

Please bear in mind that up is not a verb; I don't care what worthless rag you're composing headlines or captions for.

Posted by Attila at January 5, 2005 01:26 PM

Copy editor? You are a stinking *copy editor*?!?

We may have to re-access our relationship.


Posted by: The Peoria Pundit at January 5, 2005 05:50 PM

Or "re-assess" it?


Attila Girl

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 5, 2005 08:05 PM

I have learned that any post in which I carp about copy editors always contains a huge error. Par for the course. Thpt!

Xacto-wielding pig dogs.

Posted by: Bill Dennis at January 5, 2005 10:15 PM

I try to walk softly; after all, my own posts aren't perfect.

Though, if I do say so myself, they are damn clean considering the conditions under which I proofread them (right on the spot, on screen, in a hurry).

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 5, 2005 11:05 PM

Dear LMA,

You need to up your meds or something. Ending a sentence with a conjunction...indeed!

Happy New Year!

Posted by: littlemrmahatma at January 6, 2005 07:45 AM

Dear LMM:

Actually, "for" is primarily a preposition, especially when describing a function, say, "composing headlines."

You're not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, either.

I only know this because I dearly love to end my sentences with prepositions. But ending with a conjunction just doesn't float my boat.

I also love to really split my infinitives. And start sentences with And or But.

Drives 'm nuts.

heh heh.


Posted by: k at January 6, 2005 09:33 AM

Winston Churchill: "The rule about not ending sentences with prepositions is one up with which I shall not put."

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 6, 2005 10:59 AM


You made me spit my chocolate milk all over my monitor.

If this is how you write and think when depressed, please don't take up Prozac or anything, ok?

go Winnie!


Posted by: k at January 6, 2005 01:30 PM

Anyone here ever hear of the concept of the "idiom." It's a collection of words that has a singular meaning, such as "That is a situation I will not put up with."

"Put up with" is an idiom that means, roughly, "tolerate."

In this context, "with" is not a true preposition.

Therefore, it is perfectly grammatical to use at the end of a sentence.

But try to tell that to the grey-haired retired school teachers who write letters to your editor complaining about the bad grammar in your articles.

Screw 'em, I say.

Newspapers have two options: Write to the specifications of a handful of Language Nazis, who as often as not are not the experts they claim to be -- or write bright, entertaining copy.

Why would anyone want their newspaper to read like a 9th grade term paper?

Posted by: The Peoria Pundit at January 9, 2005 06:12 AM

Basically, I feel that if all the elements are in a sentence, and it sounds okay, full steam ahead--I can't get upset by wayward prepositions or this "split infinitive" stuff. Who cares?

But certain things still bother me, often because they require two readings for one to understand what's being said--or because they just come off as silly ("irregardless").

I mean, when an unfortunate situation occurs, and someone tells me he feels "badly," I'm often tempted to reply, "that's too bad. Especially for your wife."

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 9, 2005 08:24 AM

um ... huh?

Posted by: k at January 10, 2005 10:22 AM

He feels badly. He's bad at feeling. He lacks skill in feeling. He's a little clumsy with respect to . . . feeling.

(Obviously, the joke rests on the double meaning of the word "feel," and I'm alluding to its tactile sense.)

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 10, 2005 02:22 PM

OH! Well, now that you've pointed it out, it seems perfectly obvious.

The only way I ever learn anything about grammar is by my own mistakes, and then only when pounded into my head with a rock. Since I say "bad" not "badly" I had no idea what was going on.

Posted by: k at January 10, 2005 06:20 PM

You're fine. And you're talking to someone whose relationship with arithmetic and money are very troubled. Not my field at all.

Actually, very few things are my field: I do well in two or three areas, and fake the rest.

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 10, 2005 11:54 PM

Actually, my arithmatic's lousy. It startled the hell out of the teachers when they realized I had the thing for math. It's different.

And I wouldn't be in the pickle I'm in if my control of my money were better that it is. When it's other people's money I always make it come out so true.

But I do know what my fields are, so I won't worry about the grammar any more. Now I can safely confess: the only preposition I know is "for." Only conjunction, too, come to think. I only know them because I looked em' up. I like looking stuff up. Makes it look like you know so much stuff you don't.

Did you say something about "I do well in two or three areas, and fake the rest"?


Posted by: k at January 11, 2005 03:25 PM

An English teacher I knew used to talk about prepositions using a small stuffed animal and a box.

"Jack is IN the box."

"Jack in ON the box."

"Jack is zooming AROUND the box."

"Jack is jumping OVER the box."

You get the idea.

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 11, 2005 04:47 PM

Ok. Jumping Jack Flashed FOR the box. I think I get it now.

See? The problem with looking stuff up is, sometimes it leads to actually learning something. Sheesh.

Posted by: k at January 11, 2005 10:11 PM

Yeah. Once you have the little creature and the small cardboard box, it's easy to make the leap to the non-physical sorts of prepositions. God bless Mr. Scherrer.

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 11, 2005 11:24 PM

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