The latest and last Schott’s Vocab: “After two and a half years, thousands of posts and tens of thousands of comments, Schott’s Vocab is closing its doors.” Following up on their outrageous cancellation of On Language, the NY Times continues its desperate attempt to transform itself into something the idiot they imagine the average reader to be will shell out for. But at least they don’t print profanity, and that’s the important thing.


  1. It’s a shame. Worth noting that the decision was, according to Ben Schott on Twitter, “entirely mutual and utterly amicable”.

  2. Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he? I draw my own conclusions based on recent trends.

  3. “something the idiot they imagine the average reader to be will be willing to shell out for”
    Not one of your best sentences.

  4. Bathrobe says

    But surely not that bad.

  5. I like “to be will be willing to”.

  6. Sigh. Guess I didn’t reread that one very carefully before hitting Post. OK, off to fix it…

  7. I must thank you guys for your belly-shaking humour helping to digest my oatmeal porridge.

  8. I too find that LH goes better with oatmeal than any other blog, and oatmeal with LH better than any other grain cereal.
    And that sentence still needs work…

  9. Good god, Conrad rattled me so badly I didn’t even reread the sentence carefully, just yanked out a phrase, turning it from awkward to complete fail. Now it should work.

  10. Well, it’s now grammatical and makes sense once you’ve gotten off the garden path to the everlasting bonfire. But it still isn’t what I’d call a decent sentence. Quite indecently exposed, in fact.

  11. I hate to bring this up, but does one really want the NYT to be both it and they in the same sentence?

  12. I’m sorry I ever made this stupid post; it led me into syntactic tangles from which I will apparently never emerge.

  13. Steve Bennett says

    Hey, I like it. If you asked someone to embed “to be will be willing” into a grammatical sentence, I’m not sure I’d manage it.

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