Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Quick hits

The Washington Post's latest "Off the Beaten Career Path" feature is on lexicographer Erin McKean. (The piece is written by copy editor and career advice columnist Mary Ellen Slayter.)

Bill Walsh hashes out possessives after a mess of complaints on the Post headline "The Case of Roberts's Missing Papers." That's the funny thing about style, folks. What's wrong at the Dallas Morning News may not be wrong at the Washington Post.

John McIntyre covers the common errors seen with comprise, crescendo, podium and it's.

Jan Freeman has the results to her usage poll a couple of weeks ago in her Boston Globe column. ("One of those people who has"? Arrggghhh!)

I've been checking in periodically to the Double-Tongued Word Wrester, "a growing lexicon of fringe English." A couple of my favorites among recent entries: the verb pixie, "to practice sabotage as an expression of environmental politics," gone pecan, "a person who is doomed, defeated, or beyond rescue; a goner" and mail it in, "to perform in a cursory or sub-standard manner." (I'd used mail it in before I read the entry; I've used gone pecan since I read the entry, and pixieing? Well, maybe I'll have the chance to use it someday soon.) (I should also mention that the site is run by Grant Barrett, who works at Oxford University Press with the aforementioned McKean.)


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