The dude abides

Of all the odd bracketing that pops up in direct quotes, this has to be one of the more puzzling examples. In this quote about resolutions for the new year, what word was removed, and why was “dude” put in its place? This dude would like to know.


First words on Saddam’s execution

Here’s a quick look at some Web headlines on the execution of Saddam Hussein:

The news apparently merits two sirens on The Drudge Report — a designation that is perhaps similar to BULLETIN from The Associated Press.

The rival Huffington Post went without the flash but offered this all-caps headline:


CNN followed a few moments later with this:

We’ll have to wait to see what the papers say.

Winter meetings

The Southeast chapter of the American Copy Editors Society will hold its next workshop in Chapel Hill on Jan. 28. This is an all-day gathering, and the main session will be on the changes in newsrooms and how they affect copy editing.

Cost is just $15 if you are an ACES member and register early. Go here for more information.

Presidents, celebrities and drop-dead headlines

Rachel Sklar at The Huffington Post wonders why the coverage of the death of Gerald Ford hasn’t included a famous front page from The Daily News in New York. She writes:

“The omission of one newspaper headline over the course of an entire presidency and distinguished, honorable career is certainly no big deal, but this one in particular is so colorful, so iconic and so famous that its absence seems worthy of note.”

My guess: The cable networks think that showing “DROP DEAD” with a story about the death of a president is inappropriate.

UPDATE: The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly includes a similar headline — offering evidence that Sklar is correct about the impact of the “DROP DEAD” word choice and structure. The magazine went to print before Ford’s death, by the way.

Ombuds and editors

Editing issues are included in these recent columns by ombudsmen:

  • Ted Vaden at The News & Observer notes that stories posted on the paper’s site during the day are bypassing the copy desk.
  • James Campbell at The Houston Chronicle discusses the paper’s corrections and includes a reader’s request for more copy editors and proofreaders.

More on story forms

It’s good to read that the recent Midwest meeting of ACES included a discussion of alternative story forms and what they mean for copy editing. I agree with the designer from Chicago on these recommendations:

  • Content rules.
  • Collaboration is essential.
  • Words aren’t dead. Long live words!
  • Copy editors can be newsroom leaders in deciding when and how to use alternative story forms.

More on alternative story forms here and here.