Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

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TNY on Trib's List, a Cartoon Breakdown, and Those Tricky Invasive Weeds

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My first daily newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, calls The New Yorker one of its 50 favorite magazines:
Katherine Boo’s story on the closing of one of the worst high schools in Colorado wasn’t just challenging and moving, it was absolutely riveting - and a reminder that, if other magazines have more bells and whistles, the New Yorker has, pound for pound, more quality writing and reporting than anyone around.
Someone I met at a party recently was saying that Boo deserves a big prize. I agree.

But the most exciting thing in meta-New Yorkerland this week is the grand analysis of all 100 caption-contest cartoons in the magazine thus far, by (it shouldn’t surprise you) the tireless David Marc Fischer at Blog About Town. He’s broken down the cartoons by subject, gender (of “protagonist” and cartoonist), scenario, geographical location, and everything else you can imagine. It’s a truly awesome achievement, and I can’t wait to read part two.

Meanwhile, did you know that cartoonist Mick Stevens has a blog? In his thoughtful posts, he provides a welcome and sober look at the cartoon-making process, which doesn’t always end triumphantly.

Finally, wunderkind big-band leader and jazz pianist Solomon Douglas, who unexpectedly swung through town this week, just turned me on to Language Log, a linguistics blog, and what’s the first thing I noticed? A second look at that recent newsbreak about invasive weeds. You remember:

From the San Francisco Chronicle.

With California Invasive Weeds Awareness Week just around the corner (July 17-23), there are two words every Californian should know: yellow star thistle.
Funny, right? Language Log’s Arnold Zwicky thought there might be more to this thorny issue, and he did some sound sleuthing into how an unthinking copy edit may have led to the horticultural (and orthographical) gaffe. Read on.


Agreed—Katherine Boo deserves every prize she’s ever won, including the Pulitzer and the McArthur—as well as the prizes she’s destined to win.

When will she come out w/a book?

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2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree