Category Archives: Media Coverage

Welcome, MSNBC readers!

I was wondering why my blog was going crazy with visits today!

If you haven’t yet heard, I’ve been featured in another piece — “Fastidious Spelling Snobs Pushed Over the Edge” by Diane Mapes on MSNBC.com.

It’s a great feature.  Nice work, Diane!

Welcome, readers.  Enjoy the blog — and if you have any submissions of grammar or spelling errors in your community, feel free to email me at kate.mcculley [at] gmail.com.

If you’re a news organization and would like to contact me for an interview — I’ve done educational grammar consulting and I’ve been featured as the resident grammarian on a few NPR segments — feel free to email me as well.

Thanks for visiting!

Keep your eyes open….

A new feature on the Grammar Vandal will be appearing in a major national publication within the next few weeks.

Keep your eyes open!

Big in Germany!

I was delighted to hear from reader Christina, a fan from Germany.  There will be more mentioned about Christina later, but for now, check out this great stuff.

I asked her how she came across my blog, and she told me that there was actually a write-up about me in the October 2007 issue of Spotlight magazine!  Spotlight is a magazine designed for adults looking to improve their language, and it’s published in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.

It’s basically sound bites from the Boston Globe’s feature, but it’s new stuff — and I loved it!  Check it out:

spotlight.jpg

NPR Clarification

There are a few things that I didn’t get to discuss on the broadcast. Before I forget them, here they are:

–I do think that it’s a good idea to remove the hyphens in fig-leaf, make-over, leap-frog and pigeon-hole. I never use hyphens in any of these words.

However, I think that the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary’s reasoning is off. They say they removed the hyphens due to internet culture and the fact that most people can’t be bothered to type the hyphens.

I find that to be extremely dangerous.

If we start giving in to the abbreviated style of internet culture, what will stop us from adding “newayz” and “u” to dictionaries?

We cannot give in.

Give in because language has naturally evolved. Even before the internet, hyphens weren’t commonplace in the aforementioned words.

–Also, though I’m an AP Style girl at heart, I don’t use the word e-mail. I think that we’re at the point where we no longer need the e and hyphen to clarify that this is mail sent electronically. Email has stood the test of time.

–Also, halfway through the broadcast, I caught myself in a “you know.” AHHHH!!!! After that, I tried to speak better than last time, using fewer “you knows” and “likes.” I have a feeling that I sucked at that. I also ended at least one sentence with a preposition.

Also, I was completely caught off guard when she asked me about words that used to use hyphens but no longer do besides today and tomorrow. I had seconds to think of a response and couldn’t think of anything! (Now I know that goodbye would have worked.)

What do you think?

Please be kinder than last time. Writing is easy — speaking with perfect grammar while on live radio is hard!

Greetings, NPR fans!

I haven’t done the interview yet, but I’d like for there to be an entry welcoming you.

I hope you enjoy the blog!

If you have any errors to submit, please email me at kate [dot] mcculley [at] gmail [dot] com.

Also, I run a freelance editing and educational consulting business. (Strangely enough, I have yet to blog about it, though I do receive a good amount of freelance work!)

Need anything edited? From business writing and presentations to academic papers and college application essays to advertising and newsletters, I do it all.

My rates are quite low and I guarantee that no other editor will do a better job.

Again, welcome to the blog! I hope you enjoy your visit.

Another NPR Appearance!

I have been asked to return to NPR! I will be making my first appearance since my interview in July!

The interview will take place tomorrow, Monday, September 23, 2007, around 7:40 AM. It’s for a new program called the Bryant Park Project. It’s a brand new show that is in previews right now. Check it out here.

Tomorrow’s show is about the Oxford English Dictionary’s decision to remove hyphens from several words.

Small object of grammatical desire

It’s small. It’s flat. It’s black. And according to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, its numbers are shrinking. Welcome to the world of the hyphen.

Having been around since at least the birth of printing, the hyphen is apparently enjoying a difficult time at the moment.

The sixth edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary has knocked the hyphens out of 16,000 words, many of them two-word compound nouns. Fig-leaf is now fig leaf, pot-belly is now pot belly, pigeon-hole has finally achieved one word status as pigeonhole and leap-frog is feeling whole again as leapfrog.

The blame, as is so often the case, has been put at least in part on electronic communication. In our time-poor lifestyles, dominated by the dashed-off [or should that be dashed off or dashedoff] e-mail, we no longer have time to reach over to the hyphen key.

Read the full story here.

What’s my opinion?

Tune in to find out! I think the show is only airing in New York, but you can listen online at npr.org.

In the Globe again!

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was mentioned in the Boston Sunday Globe again this week!

It’s in the Ideas section, on the back cover. It’s not online, since it’s just a short blurb.

There is a picture of the “Cambrige Street” sign that I posted a few days ago. Here it is:

Where the Streets Have the Wrong Name

As if navigating our streets weren’t tricky enough, sometimes they’re spelled funny. A local blogger called The Grammar Vandal wants to know what the deal is with “Cambrige” street. Tell me about it. I grew up near a street in Jamaica Plain named after Frederick Law Olmsted. It is called Olmstead.

Sweet.

However….is funny the word we want to see there? It’s too bad funnily doesn’t exist….

On "Gone Missing"

I just listened to the broadcast for the first time.

WOW, I TALK FAST.

Perhaps it was because I was so nervous.

I wanted to listen to it because I’ve been reading the comments about my opinion on “gone missing,” and I’ve realized that I inadvertently said something that I did not mean.

When the first caller, Vijay, called in, he was talking about how he didn’t like when the expression “gone missing” was used in the news.

At one point, he said, “It shouldn’t be ‘gone missing,’ it should be ‘is missing.'”

When he said that, I thought he meant that in headlines, it should say “is missing” and that the headline should have read, “Seventeen-year-old girl is missing.”

I thought that he meant that headlines that use only the verb’s past participle are incorrect.

“‘Seventeen-year-old girl gone missing,'” I said. “Wouldn’t it be correct to say, ‘seventeen-year-old girl eaten by a bear’? This is in a headline. Um….using just a past participle, like that, that seems to be correct, to me.”

This is, genuinely, what I meant all along. I wasn’t even talking about the expression. I hope this explanation shows how I didn’t mean to say “gone missing” was okay; I meant to show that using the past participle only in headlines was okay, and is standard.

Now, I can truly answer the question: what do I think about “gone missing”? I actually haven’t ever thought about that.

If we’re talking about headlines, then just missing should work: Camp Counselor Missing Since Thursday.

You know what? It sounds a bit awkward, but I’m not entirely sure that it is outright wrong. I need to consult a few more sources.

However, based on personal opinion alone, I know that in journalism, you’re not supposed to use any words that place blame. For example, He is an admitted homosexual is incorrect because the word “admitted” implies blame. “Gone missing” sounds like the person became missing of his or her own accord, and that it is therefore his or her fault.

Therefore, I think that I would lean closer to saying no to “gone missing.”

And again, sorry about the fast talking, and the Valley Girl thing. I was very nervous. And I always forget that I can’t stand the sound of my own voice!

Also, to clear one other thing up: I do have a job, a real job, a job that requires a college degree, a job that requires 40 hours of work each week. I’ve worked there for almost a year and you can read all about it in Kate’s Adventures under the category “Working Girl.” (I choose not to identify my employer by name in my blogs.)

I said what I said on the broadcast because I know that there are so many better opportunities out there.

On "Gone Missing"

I just listened to the broadcast for the first time.

WOW, I TALK FAST.

Perhaps it was because I was so nervous.

I wanted to listen to it because I’ve been reading the comments about my opinion on “gone missing,” and I’ve realized that I inadvertently said something that I did not mean.

When the first caller, Vijay, called in, he was talking about how he didn’t like when the expression “gone missing” was used in the news.

At one point, he said, “It shouldn’t be ‘gone missing,’ it should be ‘is missing.'”

When he said that, I thought he meant that in headlines, it should say “is missing” and that the headline should have read, “Seventeen-year-old girl is missing.”

I thought that he meant that headlines that use only the verb’s past participle are incorrect.

“‘Seventeen-year-old girl gone missing,'” I said. “Wouldn’t it be correct to say, ‘seventeen-year-old girl eaten by a bear’? This is in a headline. Um….using just a past participle, like that, that seems to be correct, to me.”

This is, genuinely, what I meant all along. I wasn’t even talking about the expression. I hope this explanation shows how I didn’t mean to say “gone missing” was okay; I meant to show that using the past participle only in headlines was okay, and is standard.

Now, I can truly answer the question: what do I think about “gone missing”? I actually haven’t ever thought about that.

If we’re talking about headlines, then just missing should work: Camp Counselor Missing Since Thursday.

You know what? It sounds a bit awkward, but I’m not entirely sure that it is outright wrong. I need to consult a few more sources.

However, based on personal opinion alone, I know that in journalism, you’re not supposed to use any words that place blame. For example, He is an admitted homosexual is incorrect because the word “admitted” implies blame. “Gone missing” sounds like the person became missing of his or her own accord, and that it is therefore his or her fault.

Therefore, I think that I would lean closer to saying no to “gone missing.”

And again, sorry about the fast talking, and the Valley Girl thing. I was very nervous. And I always forget that I can’t stand the sound of my own voice!

Also, to clear one other thing up: I do have a job, a real job, a job that requires a college degree, a job that requires 40 hours of work each week. I’ve worked there for almost a year and you can read all about it in Kate’s Adventures under the category “Working Girl.” (I choose not to identify my employer by name in my blogs.)

I said what I said on the broadcast because I know that there are so many better opportunities out there.

So, like, I totally speak like a Valley Girl, you know?

Wow.

First of all, thank you for taking the time to read, comment and/or email! I appreciate it very much.

Secondly….

I had no idea that I apparently say “like” and “you know” so often!

I don’t talk like that, usually….at least, I don’t THINK I do….I’m going to have to speak to one of my more honest friends about that and get his or her opinion.

I’m hoping it was only because I was so nervous, being in the room with the headphones and the microphone and everything being live! That was truly nerve-wracking! I was trembling the whole time.

I have much more to say about the interview, but I’ll post later. I found a few errors in the Theatre District on my way home, and I’ll be posting the pictures in a bit.

Again, thank you for the emails and comments — and thank you for pointing out how annoying I really sound live! :-)

So, like, I totally speak like a Valley Girl, you know?

Wow.

First of all, thank you for taking the time to read, comment and/or email! I appreciate it very much.

Secondly….

I had no idea that I apparently say “like” and “you know” so often!

I don’t talk like that, usually….at least, I don’t THINK I do….I’m going to have to speak to one of my more honest friends about that and get his or her opinion.

I’m hoping it was only because I was so nervous, being in the room with the headphones and the microphone and everything being live! That was truly nerve-wracking! I was trembling the whole time.

I have much more to say about the interview, but I’ll post later. I found a few errors in the Theatre District on my way home, and I’ll be posting the pictures in a bit.

Again, thank you for the emails and comments — and thank you for pointing out how annoying I really sound live! :-)

NPR in Two Hours!!

I’m about to head out for my segment on NPR. It’s due to be on from 3:40-3:52 PM today on Talk of the Nation.

Every geographical area has a different schedule, and many communities will not be broadcasting Talk of the Nation live — including Boston! Can you believe it?

Other networks will likely be rebroadcasting the interview, but it will be at different times.

At any rate, it will definitely appear on npr.org.

Hope you listen!

NPR in Two Hours!!

I’m about to head out for my segment on NPR. It’s due to be on from 3:40-3:52 PM today on Talk of the Nation.

Every geographical area has a different schedule, and many communities will not be broadcasting Talk of the Nation live — including Boston! Can you believe it?

Other networks will likely be rebroadcasting the interview, but it will be at different times.

At any rate, it will definitely appear on npr.org.

Hope you listen!

Headed for NPR!

When I was sitting on the beach at White Lake today, I received an urgent phone call from my mother. She had just received a call from NPR. They were trying to track me down, and they found her! (We’re still not quite sure how.)

NPR wanted me to be a guest on “Talk of the Nation” this very afternoon.

I will never be able to adequately express the shock I felt at that moment.

I called the station to speak with the editor who had called, and she told me that she loved the piece in the Globe. She then asked me if I would rather go on the show next Monday, since it would fit both our schedules better. I agreed in an instant.

I cannot believe this!

More details to come.

For now, here are the pictures of the story in the City Weekly section of the Boston Sunday Globe:

80% of the page! Incredible!


You can see more of my adhesive commas in action in the top right corner. (They kind of look like ads, but they’re actually pictures that were taken on Newbury Street.)

Headed for NPR!

When I was sitting on the beach at White Lake today, I received an urgent phone call from my mother. She had just received a call from NPR. They were trying to track me down, and they found her! (We’re still not quite sure how.)

NPR wanted me to be a guest on “Talk of the Nation” this very afternoon.

I will never be able to adequately express the shock I felt at that moment.

I called the station to speak with the editor who had called, and she told me that she loved the piece in the Globe. She then asked me if I would rather go on the show next Monday, since it would fit both our schedules better. I agreed in an instant.

I cannot believe this!

More details to come.

For now, here are the pictures of the story in the City Weekly section of the Boston Sunday Globe:

80% of the page! Incredible!


You can see more of my adhesive commas in action in the top right corner. (They kind of look like ads, but they’re actually pictures that were taken on Newbury Street.)