5 grammar and style lessons from The New York Times

The Gray Lady opened its vault of gaffes to offer some important tips for writers.

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Sure, it’s cold comfort after you misspell someone’s name or forgot the “l” in “public” to find out that The New York Times used “different than” instead of “different from.” But still, it’s good to know that an organization with an army of editors still gets it wrong on occasion.

And speaking of that occasion, Philip B. Corbett, the associate managing editor for standards at the Times, revealed a trove of recent grammar and style errors from the pages of the Gray Lady. You can see all of them at the After Deadline blog, but in the meantime here are a few to whet your appetite:

Peruse. A Times story offered this description: “Through the narrow corridors and battered shelves of the cozy store in the storied Brill Building in Times Square, a knowing worker will then peruse and (more often than not) find the sheet music, vinyl record or CD the person is looking for.”

Corbett points out that “peruse” is not synonymous with search. “It means to read or study, and takes a direct object,” he wrote. “Not the phrasing we wanted here.”

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