A copy editor’s hero

Today’s New York Times carries the obituary of Evan Jenkins, a longtime editor at the Times and the author of Language Corner at the Columbia Journalism Review. The Times calls him “an authority on the linguistic bugbears … that keep reporters, editors and many others awake at night.” (A “bugbear” is an imaginary creature who might scare children. I guess that’s an apt word for the fear of confusing “that” and “which.”)

Jenkins wrote about language and grammar issues in the Language Corner for more than 10 years. He wrote about misused words and mangled syntax. His last post was about “thusly.” He was a copy editor’s hero, giving us one more authoritative source to cite when we needed to show a colleague just what was wrong with using “is comprised of.” Here is a Jenkins post that copy editors can thank him for — Series: run-on.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.