If it’s Saturday, where is everybody?

You’ve probably heard about the recent buyouts at the Star Tribune. As this story says, the move affects writers and people “behind the scenes” such as copy editors. Now get the inside story here. A key quote from a reporter:

There’s been some scrambling to fill slots for copy editing and designing on the weekend. They’re just discovering someone’s not going to be there.

Speaking of the Minneapolis paper, its public editor has an interesting column on the editing and trimming of wire stories — and the conspiracy theories posited by readers.

NYT copy editor takes your questions

Merrill Perlman, director of copy desks at The New York Times whom some of you may know from ACES, gets a turn to answer reader questions as part of the Talk to the Newsroom series.

She’s already been confronted with a cranky query about the lack of serial commas in the Times. An anonymous source tells me that Merrill would rather not discuss grammar and punctuation all the time, so send her questions about other things.

UPDATE: Be sure to check out this Q&A. Merrill does a great job discussing fact checking and style issues. She also talks about editing and the Web. I was heartened to read that the Times is recognizing the role of copy editing — a big issue as we all head toward online.

Fighting words

Can we all agree to end the use of “basket-brawl”? Has anyone really used that word in everyday conversation? It still pops up routinely in the sports media.

If you insist on using “basket-brawl,” then I get to write this:

Cagers in fracas in Big Apple as key tilt goes awry

Is this the best they can do?

Spammers need some editing help. Do they really expect us to believe their ploys when they write like this?

Because of unusual number of invalid login attempts on you account, we had to believe that, their might be some security problem on you account. So we have decided to put an extra verification process to ensure your identity and your account security. Please click the link bellow:

[LINK DELETED]

It is all about your security. Thank you. and visit the customer service section.

Check your headlines

A few headlines that need tweaking:
PUBLICATION: The Drudge Report.
PROBLEMS: Poor word choice. “Credit” isn’t the right pick here because it has positive connotations. The killing of Daniel Pearl wasn’t a good thing. And why is “confesses” in quotation marks?
SOLUTIONS: Change “credit” to “responsibility.” Delete quotation marks.
PUBLICATION: The Huffington Post.
PROBLEMS: Punctuation error; photo looks odd.
SOLUTION: His last name is Edwards, so put the apostrophe after the S. Check under “possessives” in the AP Stylebook. Also, ask the photo desk whether the image has been flopped, which would be a no-no.

PUBLICATION: The Charlotte Observer.
PROBLEM: Run-on headline.
SOLUTION: Put a comma after “down” — it’s necessary because the headline has two independent clauses.