I was holding off linking to my final Word column till the Boston Globe web team added hyperlinks, which has now happened. So I got scooped on my own farewell by John McIntyre (thanks for the kind words, John!)
Some of you knew already that I was thinking this 14th-anniversary month might be a good time to exit the print scene. I had cut back to alternate weeks back in late 2009, when Erin McKean joined me to coauthor the column. And I missed quite a few weeks this summer; I've spent much of it in my Ohio hometown, first to see my ailing mom, then -- after she died in June -- to hang around the ancestral home basking in her (still palpable, still comforting) presence, and to help my brothers and sisters sort things out.
I'm not at all bored with (or bored of) the language beat, just with cranking out 800-word columns, which (however new the material -- and it's not always new enough) tend to be structurally repetitious. (I can't imagine how Bill Safire did it for 30 years.) So I hope I'll be blogging more consistently, once we settle into the new normal.
As for the column, Erin will keep contributing, but there's no word yet on who or what will fill the alternate weeks I've just vacated. Send nominees to the Ideas section editor, Steve Heuser, at email@example.com; maybe he'll break down and confess that he's already signed my successor.
Sorry about the excess of parentheses here. See y'all soon!