Saturday, August 13, 2011

A last Word

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; 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!


Kay L. Davies said...

Happy Retirement!
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Nancy said...

Your Words will be missed, but I'm glad to know there's a silver lining. I'm looking forward to more-frequent blog posting (we can't let you off without any deadline pressure) and--who knows--maybe some tweeting and Google Plussing, too!

Anonymous said...

That's too bad you won't be writing the column any more.
I look forward to more frequent blog posts from you though!

lynneguist said...

Sad to see you go from the Globe (and thank you for your generous mentions of my blog along the way), but so glad that you'll still be around, thinking and writing about language. Hurrah!

Unknown said...

I'll miss your print column, but I'm very glad to learn about this blog!

Best of luck.


Stan said...

I'm sorry to see you leave The Word, Jan – your column was a consistent pleasure, and now seems a good time to thank you for it.

This blog, of course, will compensate very well for your absence from the Globe, and I look forward to seeing who steps in to fill the gap.

Jonathon said...

I've greatly enjoyed your columns since I discovered them a couple of years ago. I'm glad to hear that you'll still hang around the blogosphere.

redel817 said...

I will definitely miss your column but glad that I caught the reference to blogspot. Look forward to following you there.
Also consider Google+.
redel817/West Peabody

Kelly Easton said...

I look forward to following you here, as I have in the Globe. Many condolences on your mom's death. I lost mine on July
4th. You carry them with you.
Kelly Easton (author from RI)

T. Roger Thomas said...


Gordon Campbell said...

I have always loved your column (well, ever since I discovered it)and I'm glad to know the blog will continue.

It's great to read someone who knows that the love of language doesn't mean inventing superstitions about correctness and then cultivating a sense of outrage when these superstitions are ignored.

JMP said...

Glad to see that you'll be blogging. Who knows? You might find it irresistible.