The mind-reading continues

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is continuing to assess whether to run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, and will probably make a decision next month, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking.


Of course, only one person has knowledge of Biden’s thinking. That would be a pretty good source. Anyone else: bunk.


Stop right there

A 115-year-old U.S. law that’s grown like kudzu …



That’ll do it

You don’t even have to be a weather amateur. (Albuquerque Journal)



And then I stopped reading

He suffered for his art. Now it’s the reader’s turn.

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Media goodbyes must be the equivalent of root canals for readers.

The sentimentality. The faux humility. The ego. Somewhere, someone has to stop it.

But it won’t be me.

(David Weidner in MarketWatch)


GNP brain surgery




We hate to keep harping on this, but the inability to differentiate between quarterly growth and annual-rate growth is bewildering, especially when it’s reported both ways by the same publication. (The top headline is from the New York Times home page; the second is the headline on the story.

Among the other violators is the Los Angeles Times:







More wrongheadedness

Memo from the Boston Globe (via Romenesko):

Details are being worked out, but it will mean a streamlined copy editing operation. It will mean that most stories will get fewer reads, placing more responsibility on reporters and line editors to make sure they’re in good shape. It means that rather than a copy desk, we will have a multiplatform production desk where stories are copy edited, posted on line, perhaps placed in the social stream, and later set on pages for print. The Sports desk is already doing this. Now we need to bring it to the Universal and Features desks.



It’s not a ‘merger,’ dammit

logo-test-biz-copy-editors   Industry giant Anthem Inc. reached a $54-billion deal to buy rival Cigna Corp., creating    the country’s biggest health insurer and triggering concerns about the immense power it    could wield with employers and medical providers.

The merger announced Friday capped weeks of frenzied deal-making that could result in    Anthem, along with just two other major companies, dominating the U.S. health    insurance business.

(Los Angeles Times)

We addressed this a couple of years ago.

An acquisition is not a merger, at least not usually. The useful “Financial Writer’s Stylebook” defines “merger”: “When two companies combine to form a new company, and the shareholders of each company own about 50 percent of the new company. Rarely, if ever are there true mergers, although companies will announce takeovers as ‘mergers’”

The Associated Press stylebook says: “Few business combinations are truly a merger of equals, so we need to be precise and sparing in the use of the word “merger.” It is not a synonym for an acquisition or takeover, which should be the preferred descriptive used in most of our stories.”

Even when the big papers and wire services use the right term, “merger” tends to show up in headlines.  Knock that off.

(Testy Business Copy Editor, Feb. 25. 2013)


Today’s tantalizing blurb

The Philadelphia Eagles coach’s methods draw attention that he would just as soon avoid, as his ex-wife can attest.

(Washington Post)


We’re moving.

The new international headquarters of Testy Copy Editors opens next month in Albuquerque, N.M. Sorry, no office hours.

photo (2)



The Twitter feed links to posts made on the Facebook page, in case you don’t care for the intrusive social-media site.




The picture of Bill Cosby conjured by his deposition is repulsive and possibly criminal, but it’s hardly news worthy of this play. “Sex, drugs and deceit” are not scarce in Hollywood.



Store opening. C’mon!

From the beginning, the founders of Blu Dot wanted to make modern furniture at a reasonable price. “Design what you can actually afford,” said Chief Executive John ­Christakos when he and co-founder Maurice Blanks were starting the company in 1997.

Saturday, Blu Dot takes another step to satisfy design-geeky shoppers: Its first outlet store opens in Minneapolis.

(Star Tribune, Minneapolis)


This and that

The Boston Globe fixes a boo-boo.






From the self-love beat

Notes from Mexico’s newest tourist attraction:


On Wednesday, prison officials allowed journalists to inspect the cell from which he fled.

Each journalists was only given two minutes inside the cell.




One-hundred-and-twenty seconds are enough to raise questions about how this escape was possible.

How could it be that no one heard or saw anything?

Inside the cell suspicion mounts that you don’t get out of here without accomplices on the inside.

Underneath the shower is the hole where the tunnel starts, but it’s so deep and dark you can’t really see anything.




Shades of poop

The Washington Post reveals that it has 8-year-old writers.



And then I stopped reading

WASHINGTON — The deal agreed to Monday between Greece and its creditors is full of ironies and historical parallels, starting with the summit’s record length: In 490 BC, Greece won a famous victory against Persian invaders at the Battle of Marathon.

(USA Today)


Proof the page, dammit.

From the Sandusky, Ohio, Register.



Pointless Quotes Dept.

In Sharif’s native city of Alexandria, word of his death drew proud recollections of his contribution to world culture from some — and blank stares from some younger Egyptians.

“I am sorry, but I don’t know of this person,” 20-year-old engineering student Mohammed Safr told The Times.

(Los Angeles Times)


Stoopid business news

You gonna burn, burn, burn, burn, burn to the wick

Ooooo, Barracuda…..

Heart, 1977

Ouch, Barracuda, more like it.

Shares of  Barracuda Networks (CUDA) are down 20% Friday after the cloud-based data security and storage solutions company reported fiscal first-quarter results after the close Thursday.

(USA Today)


Crime of the century

It must be summer, and someone has left the office cat in charge with instructions to fill the page forms with whatever comes in over the transom. Here, the start of more than 900 words (counting the correction) on a road marker that was and remains stolen.

JOHNSBURG, N.Y. — Everyone in town, including the police, is asking why. And the answer to that is unknown, since they are also asking another question — who?

For nearly a year, the theft of a commemorative marker has baffled the police and wounded this Adirondack town’s civic pride. The sign was located near the birthplace of Mathew B. Brady, a pioneering photojournalist whose images brought the horrors of Civil War battlefields to the public.

(New York Times)