Thursday, January 25, 2007

Just Remember These

If I should be swallowed by a shark tomorrow (no particular reason why, just ...), let me leave you with these final bullet points:

  • In headlines, you need to capitalize "Is" and "It." The first is a verb, the second a pronoun. Just do it.
  • An ellipsis is three periods. Not four, not five. Three. And there should be a space on either side.
  • It's "home in," not "hone in."
  • It's "revolve around" and "center on." Not "center around."
  • Apostrophes don't denote plurals. Apostrophes don't denote plurals. Apostrophes don't denote plurals. (Unless we're talking about single letters or numbers, but don't worry about that right now.)
  • Also in headlines, if a word is more than three letters, capitalize it. Even piddly words like "from" or "than." Just do it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Best. Word. Ever?

During the course of copy-editing a culinary class catalogue for a freelance client, I came across what might be the greatest word in the dictionary:


Not only is it just really cool to say, dig on the two completely divergent definitions given in Webster's:

1. [Brit.] to split open and broil (a fowl)
2. [Informal] a) to interpolate (a word or words) in or into a text, often hastily or inappropriately b) to put together so as to form a unit or whole, often a clumsy or incongruous one

I mean, how cool is that? Can you imagine a sentence in which the editor would have to say to the writer, "Um, can we use another word than the second instance of 'spatchcock' here? It seems we've accidentally repeated it."

"Harris, who was busy spatchcocking a Cornish hen, didn't realize that he'd just spatchcocked several paragraphs of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus into his introduction to The Young People's Christian Bible for Today and Tomorrow."

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Get Web on the Horn!

I think the L.A. Times printed product is pretty superb. The Web site, not always so much. I notice silly little errors in heds and teaser lines fairly regularly. Peep this lead hed from Sunday morning's site. (Tried to take a screen shot, but my computer isn't much help.)

First one to spot the error wins a TOSC T-shirt!

Washington is quietly persuading banks and oil companies to pull out of projects that would expand the nation's petroleum infrastructure.