Sunday, April 25, 2010

Talk Wordy to Me, Baby

One of my favorite blogs, Talk Wordy to Me, is selling T-shirts of his cool logo. (Words and T-shirts, I'm so there.)

Brian White, the wordsmith behind Talk Wordy, is a copy editor, and all proceeds go to the ACES Education Fund, which gives scholarships to college students interested in careers in copy editing.

What's not to like? Cool T-shirt and a good cause. Show your love!

(Talk Wordy T-shirt pictured available at

Thursday, April 15, 2010

ACES 2010

A dear colleague recently shared this "Lede of the Day," from The Economist, natch:

WILLI JARANT was getting ready to board a flight from Liverpool's John Lennon airport to his home in Germany when airport employees noticed something was a bit off. As it turns out, Mr Jarant, 91, had already departed: he was dead.

No, I'm not dead, but I will be departing soon for the American Copy Editors Society 2010 conference in Philadelphia. I'm looking forward catching up with colleagues from around the country and making new friends. I'll also be speaking about copyediting for magazines on Saturday afternoon.

I hope to see you in Philly!

(ACES t-shirt available at

Monday, April 5, 2010

Censer vs Censor

Yesterday my niece was the thurifer at Easter Mass in her local Roman Catholic Church. 

Given the scandals rocking the church lately, I hesitated to ask my sister what, exactly, that meant, and whether it was good or bad. 

"She was nervous," my sister said. 

Uh oh. 

"But she handled the incense perfectly." 

Thurifer: "one who carries a censer in a liturgical service," according to Werriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary. The dictionary notes that thurifer is a Latin word, meaning "incense-bearing." The English words thurifer and thurible, a synonym for censer, are thus related.

(This reminds me of Tallulah Bankhead's famous line at high mass: When a frocked priest carrying a censer passed down the aisle, she reportedly said, "Love your dress, dear, but your purse is on fire.") 

Note censer (i.e., "a vessel for burning incense; especially: a covered incense burner swung on chains in a religious ritual,"), not censor, as in "a person who supervises conduct and morals." 

Perhaps the church could use more of the latter and ditch some of the pomp of the former. 

(T-shirt with stained-glass art censer/thurible is available at