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Posts Tagged ‘Philip B. Corbett’

NYT Back in ‘Unchartered’ Territory

NYAfterDeadlineLogoIn the very last paragraph of a recent New York Times item, Ana Romero, a reporter who covers Spain’s royal family for Madrid-based paper El Mundo, is quoted as follows:

“On paper, [Prince] Felipe is clearly our best prepared king,” said Ms. Romero, the journalist. “But we’re still entering unchartered territory in terms of predicting what kind of king — and this at a fragile moment for the monarchy and Spain.”

As NYT deputy news editor Philip B. Corbett notes today, the correct word is “uncharted”, not “unchartered.” Even though the latter came by means of a third-party quote, he writes that it should have been corrected.

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NYT Standards Editor Bans Use Of The Word “Famously”

keyboard.jpgWe undoubtedly fall into the same traps as every writer forced to churn out story after story every day: a favorite word repeated, a useless adjective thrown in here or there for extra color or perhaps even a misused word from time to time.

Unfortunately, unlike the writers at The New York Times, we don’t have a standards editor to gently tell us what we’re doing wrong and which words are strictly verboten. (We also don’t get the benefit of using those handy Times copy editors, but that’s a story for another day.)

Today, Philip B. Corbett, the Times‘ associate managing editor for standards, instructs the paper’s writers to dump the word “famously” from their vocabularies:

“I’ve steered away from my give-this-word-a-rest refrain recently. For one thing, these are among the most subjective judgments — one person’s handy shorthand is another’s grating cliché. And I was afraid that if I denounced too many words as overused or worn out, our writers wouldn’t have much left to work with.

I needn’t have worried, of course; these screeds have little discernible effect. Still, I ran into one too many ‘famouslys’ recently, and I couldn’t help myself. In many cases, ‘famously’ is completely superfluous; in other instances, there’s a more precise way to say what we mean.”

Philip B. Corbett, who famously fights for correct grammar and usage, strikes again.

Words We Love Too MuchNew York Times

‘After Deadline’ Or, If You Look Hard Enough You Will Find a NYT.com Blog for All of Life’s Problems

after_deadline190sub.jpgIs everyone but us aware that the NYT.com has a grammar and spelling advice column!? How have we missed this (when we are so clearly and often in need of advice on this front!)?

After Deadline is “adapted from a weekly newsroom critique overseen by Philip B. Corbett, the deputy news editor who is also in charge of the Times’s style manual. The goal is not to chastise, but to point out recurring problems and suggest solutions.” So a little bit like if Strunk&White had been re-written by Dear Abby (but only just a little bit). In today’s installment Corbett discusses “words we love too much.” Behold (actually, that could be one of our words):

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