The Associated Press's decision to capitalize "Black" is not a scientific rule, but it's a sensible change based on history, usage and popular sentiment.
USA Network is running promos for the season finale of "White Collar." Now, I neither watch nor have an opinion on that show, and the idea of "season finale" has been so diluted by USA Network's splitting up of seasons into parts that, for all I know, this could be the seventh or eighth finale…Read more USA Network and "White Collar" only vaguely know how to spell "judgment"
Depleted newsrooms are every day illustrating what a lack of copy editing does -- a slow sapping of quality and quality control. It doesn't mean no news is gathered or that the language is destroyed, but the effect might be more insidious. Only the most able-eyed and loudest notice, and their noise is often dismissed…Read more Society’s quality-control problem with editing
One of the problems with hyphenation in the English language is when there are strings of words requiring them. Even normally adept writers struggle, adding hyphens where they aren't needed or falling one hyphen short. Context is key, and there are good arguments for situations where simplifying the language to avoid hyphens is best. However,…Read more When not to be a nit-pick editor
Oh, Lance Armstrong wishes he refuted the report by George Hincapie about his illegal substance use. Because by refuting, Armstrong would "1. Prove (a statement or theory) to be wrong or false; disprove."Rather, Armstrong and his people rebutted, at best. "Rebut" being, among other things, "to contradict or oppose by formal legal argument, plea, or…Read more "Refute" is not "rebut" or "deny," Lance Armstrong edition
Starting today, I'm no longer a copy editor -- officially, that is. After six years professionally, two in college and four in high school (if you can count whatever I thought was good editing back then), I'm moving to the editor side.At my company, that still involves line-editing, but a lot of the job is…Read more My so-called farewell to copy editing
I talk about value-added editing as an unfortunate necessity, in which we have to show why editing and care with writing make our products clearer and better -- and at a cost worth incurring. But to do this, we have to act -- no one will notice, care or act for us. It risks us…Read more Eric Holder and porn: The difference 1 missing word makes
I talk about value-added editing as an unfortunate necessity, in which we have to show why editing and care with writing make our products clearer and better -- and at a cost worth incurring. But to do this, we have to act -- no one will notice, care or act for us. This is no…Read more Speaking up for editing: On news websites
I try to describe myself as a "value-added" copy editor, and editor in general. "Value-added" is a buzz phrase, but it has meaning if only because the term "copy editor" has lost much of its meaning.Copy editors are often unemployed and copy editing no longer a full job description. Their value -- always difficult to…Read more Value-added editing
The nuclear industry is like any other: It has its own terminology, with degrees of usefulness. Some terms are more accurate and precise, while others just sound nicer.But amid the unfortunate and continuing problems with Japan's nuclear reactors, it might be good to double-check what you're writing or editing. After all, the problems with Japan's…Read more 2 resources for learning the language of nuclear