Bright Passages – The New York Times

Notes from the newsroom on grammar, usage and style. (Some frequently asked questions are here.)

After months of nonstop carping about our missteps, here’s the latest, long-overdue sampling of sparkling prose from recent editions. Nominations are always welcome.


Foreign, 4/22:

In Mayoral Race, Opponents Battle Incumbent’s Charm

“He’s got a charisma about him, and he’s very entertaining,” the administrator added, asking that her name not be used because her supervisor was glaring at her. At that point, Mr. Johnson, his hair askew, his bulky weightlifter’s physique threatening to burst the buttons on a white chef’s jacket, was publicly attempting to cook a crêpe suzette to illustrate the effectiveness of the school’s cooking-apprentice program.

An amusing touch by Sarah Lyall in her piece about London’s mayor, shedding a bit of light on both the reporting process and the subject.


Foreign, 4/20:

French Media Question Election Reporting Rules

In recent weeks, media organizations in neighboring Belgium and Switzerland — where public interest in the French election runs high, but feelings of civic duty toward France run low — have made known their intent to publish results from districts where polls close at 6 p.m. as soon as they are available, around 6:30 p.m., 90 defiant minutes before authorized by French law.

A sharp and telling aside by Scott Sayare in his article about French restrictions on election-day reporting.


Business, 4/16:

For Two Economists, the Buffett Rule is Just a Start

Known in Washington and the economics profession by the of-course-you-know shorthand “Piketty-Saez,” the two have been denounced on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal and won mention in White House budget documents.

A tone-perfect tweak of the inside-the-Beltway mentality, in Annie Lowrey’s account of two economists influencing the tax debate.


Arts, 4/10:

A Contrarian Chowhound Weighs In

Reading Mr….

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