Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Editing the Pope

Today is all about posts I was going to make but didn't. I've been thinking about blogging about the death of John Paul II, but didn't. But I just want to say one thing about the coverage.

People. When bells ring for bad news, they toll. When they ring for good news, they peal. It's that simple.

Sylvia Poggioli made this mistake on NPR a couple weeks ago, and I've heard it all over ever since. Now that I'm going to be a full-time employed editor, I can make blog posts like these.


  1. One for the Neurotic Full-Time Professional Employed Editors! :)

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  3. You are so right about "toll" and "peal." Question: Is it "a couple weeks ago" or "a couple of weeks ago"?

  4. I love it that your mom comments on your blog. How cool is that?

    Krup, I'm sure Sylvia, on whom I have an enormous radio crush, didn't make a mistake. I'm sure she just mispoped.

    (You knew it had to happen. Admit it.)

  5. Now I can't remember if it was "mispoped" or "mispope."

    Freakin' editing tendencies anyway.

  6. uk cynic here..I think toll in this instance is globally correct...........ouch!

  7. Anonymous7:16 PM

    The father even answers sometimes. The difference between tolling and pealing is the difference between an editor and a space-filler. My compliments.
    The interesting thing about these pairs of words is that they are often political, not just tin-eared. So the important thing for practitioners is to know the difference, so as not to appear political if one is merely tin-eared, or not to appear merely tin-eared if one is intentionally political.
    For example, some people say "the armed forces," where others say "the military." Some say "the business community" where others say "the corporations" (sometimes pronounced "the cooperations.")
    We editors never reach a level at which we anticipate verbal sublimitity before being confronted by another level ahead, and another, and another.
    Thanks, CE, for a definite statement on a perfect example.
    Another Ed.