Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog)
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Check out Roy Blount's Alphabet Juice (and other first chapters of books)

May 4, 2009

Tags: editing, grammar and style

"I do hope you realize that every time you use disinterested to mean uninterested, an angel dies," writes Roy Blount Jr., "and every time you write very unique, or 'We will hire whomever is more qualified,' thousands of literate people lose yet another little smidgen of hope. And please promise me you will never lose your grip on the subjunctive to the extent that someone did in this sentence from USA Today: 'If Ramirez stayed in Cleveland, the Indians may not be seven victories shy of their first World Series title since 1948.' "



This delightful extract is from Blount's Alphabet Juice. You can read the first chapter here, thanks to the New York Times' First Chapters series. Thanks to Wendalyn Nichols of Copyediting for this lead and for this link to Grant Barrett's conversation with Blount on A Way With Words.