Dear Mr. Hitchens and Newsweek

Filed under:Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor?,Religion — posted by Anwyn on January 10, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

The fact that you, Mr. Hitchens, do not personally believe in God, or any god, does not precisely give you the right to lower-case God in a Newsweek article, and the Newsweek editors who allowed it should turn in their stylebooks. The fact that you believe there is no such being as God does not negate the fact that in writing, the word God, capitalized, is used to refer to a distinct, specific entity commonly acknowledged to be the God of Judaism and Christianity, the God of the Bible.

When you start lower-casing Santa Claus, Sherlock Holmes, and Allah, Newsweek, then you may let Hitch get away with this cutesiness. Not before.

Via the headlines at Hot Air, where even Hitchens fanboy Allah doesn’t lower-case God except in cases of interjectional “thank God” moments.

Update: I assumed it was obvious, but I guess it should be noted that an advanced search for “god” at shows numerous instances of capitalized “God.” Hitchens did this to make a point and the magazine’s editors supported him. But as I point out on the comments below, while other gods who fall under the umbrella of the lower-case common noun (including God) have identifying proper names (Zeus, etc.), and while God does have other proper names (Jehovah, etc.), God is his most common proper name and thus is capitalized. Hitchens could have made his point in a stylistically correct way by simply referring to “men of the Judeo-Christian god,” but chose to go for the shock value and broke the rules in so doing.

Quote of Every Woman’s Whole Life

Filed under:Authors,Priorities — posted by Anwyn @ 2:07 pm

“There isn’t one man in ten million that’s worth breaking your heart over.”

–Harriet Vane Wimsey in Dorothy Sayers’s Busman’s Honeymoon. Easy for her to say. And with the object/person confusion, too. Thanks for the tip, Harriet!

Just How I Like My Musicians …

Filed under:Cool,Music — posted by Anwyn on January 9, 2009 @ 11:01 pm

… badass.

Via the boys at Ace’s house.

Of All the Editors in the World

Filed under:Blogging,Need a Good Editor?,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on January 8, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

…I never thought I’d have much respect for one at the Huffington Post. I read this post taking Al Gore to task for spreading the nonsense that is human-inflicted global warming climate change last week and was duly shocked that the HP ran it–shocked, surprised, and pleased.

Now Arianna huffs, in an effort to retain her cred with her peeps:

When Ambler sent his post, I forwarded it to one of our associate blog editors to evaluate, not having read it. I get literally hundreds of posts a week submitted like this and obviously can’t read them all — which is why we have an editorial process in place. The associate blog editor published the post. It was an error in judgment. I would not have posted it. Although HuffPost welcomes a vigorous debate on many subjects, I am a firm believer that there are not two sides to every issue, and that on some issues the jury is no longer out. The climate crisis is one of these issues.

Dear Associate Blog Editor at HuffPo: Bravo. Even if you only did it to stir the pot, bravo anyhow. When Arianna fires or disciplines you, I hope you decide you’d rather retain your integrity than that job.

Via Hot Air headlines.

Also in Television News

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on January 5, 2009 @ 2:52 pm

How many “quirky” shows about crazy lawyers can one person have in them? I guess the only reason David E. Kelley’s shows ever get cancelled is to give the actors a frickin’ break. How long till the audience gives him a permanent one?

And, just to separate it from Ally McBeal,, I guess, this show has a woman lawyer named … Skippy Pylon.

My First Thought Was: Not to Each Other

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn @ 2:47 pm

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff engaged.

Silver lining: Maybe she’ll cheer up this season.

An Operative Doctor? UPDATE: No Dice

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on January 2, 2009 @ 10:40 am

The Guardian is reporting that Chiwetel Ejiofor of Alliance Operative geekfame is on the short list to replace David Tennant [insert sobbing and rending of garments] as the Doctor. We’ll all find out tomorrow as the BBC broadcasts it all over England. I was so bummed about Tennant’s coming defection that I was considering just dropping the show from my rotation–one less thing. But if Ejiofor is the replacement they might just have sucked me back in. He definitely has the charisma to pull it off and it’ll be worth it just to see how he plays it–cool, to follow Tennant’s exuberance? Eccentric and Brett-as-Holmesian?

Potentially well played, Stephen Moffat. Hundreds of thousands of American Firefly geeks yours for the crossover asking … don’t screw it up.

PS: I saw that Tennant clip a while ago, but without the beginning bit–I didn’t know the context. Is it just me or was it rather gratuitously rude to announce his resignation from the show after just having received an award for doing the show?

Update: One Matt Smith, who played a creepy role in a creepy prior episode of the show, whom I’ve never heard of before, has been named to replace Tennant. I think I’m back to the “one less thing” philosophy. So long, Doctor.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace