The Compulsive Copyeditor

February 26, 2013

What Oft Was Thought, but Ne’er So Clearly Expressed

Filed under: punctuation — amba12 @ 9:05 am

Punctuation is like track switches on a railway line. It tells the brain which way to go, and sometimes it tells it to go in two directions at once, which makes it slam on the brakes.

February 13, 2013

Fact Checking Rule of Thumb:

Filed under: fact checking,language degenerating — amba12 @ 9:51 am

Any statistic embedded in wording which is replicated identically across 20 of the top 30 Google search results is almost certainly wrong. (And almost certainly is copied either from Wikipedia or from one of the “fast news” sites, fast news being like fast food—emphasizing sensation over nutrition.) Corollary: one of the identifying characteristics of a good source is that it is unique. Another is that it is hard to find. And very satisfying to find it. You feel like a pig that’s found a truffle.

(Long time no post. There’s always a deadline, and there’s the deadly ease of just putting it on Facebook. Everyone ends up hanging out there. It’s like the mall.)

Create a free website or blog at