Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

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Before it moved to The New Yorker:
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Best of Emdashes: Hit Parade
A Web Comic: The Wavy Rule


Unmixed Grillo, and Looking Up

Filed under: Looked Into   Tagged: , , ,

Beppe Grillo’s website is #9 (not to be confused with Client 9) on Reddoc’s list of the world’s 50 most powerful blogs. If you haven’t read Tom Mueller’s profile of Grillo (which was my Pick of the Issue that week), go read it!

Also, The New Yorker is not the “MSM.” That’s a label I dislike almost as much as “blogger,” by the way, though I reluctantly refer to other writers on the web as bloggers, for lack of a better alternative. I’ve noticed that the phrase “online columnist” is gaining currency, and I like it, especially for people who are online columnists.

Like “radio host” or “airplane skywriter,” the term “blogger” refers only to a medium of communication, a method of delivery. The first two descriptions might indicate something about a person’s source of income; they say a little more about his or her temperament and skills (the ability to get to a radio studio, win the slot, speak into a microphone, and work the dials, at minimum; the agility and daring to fly a plane in signifying loops).

But “blogger,” like “caller from Schenectady” or “chronicler of skywriting,” reveals next to nothing about that person’s training, philosophy, background, intelligence, education, politics, reporting or research skills, social life, ethics, age, poise, lucidity, conventionality, effectiveness, impulsiveness, discretion, or relationship to (or experience in) traditional media, whether “mainstream” or not. Only watching what the skywriter spells, and listening to what Schenectady has to say, will begin to make them known.

In any case, writers who pride themselves on their sensitivity to language should avoid lumping their fellows into mass categories of either variety, don’t you think?

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