Like physicians, editors should do no harm

When students first learn to edit, they’re looking for mistakes everywhere. And they find a lot. But one of the things I try to teach from the first day is that not everything has something wrong with it, so they need to know when to leave copy the heck alone. A principle that guides physicians…

What I wish they taught in J-school

“Didn’t anybody ever tell them … ?” “Why don’t they know … ?” “What are they teaching them these days?” Spend enough time in a newsroom and you’ll hear some variation of these questions, or other criticism of what Those Kids Today are learning (or not) in journalism school. Some of it, of course, is…

Welcome to Madam Grammar!

I’ve started this blog to have a place to put stuff too big for Twitter and too opinionated, tangential or snarky for my official work website. You can read the “About” page to see more about me. My goal for this blog is to have a place to share thoughts and tips about grammar, language,…