Category: General

Dear New Yorker

Dear editors,

I write on a matter of great typographical importance. For some time now there have been missing “fi” ligatures in the pages of the New Yorker, and the problem is getting worse. I counted 14 instances of the unligatured “fi” combination in the August 2 issue, and that was without Annals of Justice and the short story. There were five in the essay on Anthony Veasna So alone!

These errors are distressing to the eye, unworthy of the New Yorker, and frankly, I feel, a scandal. My warm best wishes to the magazine’s hardworking and possibly understaffed copyediting department, and I hope that this problem (along with those of missing “fl” and “ff” ligatures) can be rectified as soon as possible.

Very sincerely yours,
Cathy Jacobowitz

Personal mottos of 2017

I’m not following you, I was going in this direction anymotherfucking way.

Currently my Twitter bio. Said by a homeless woman with a gift for language who hangs out on my street.

Don’t punch girls and I don’t punch a clock

I’m not really cool enough to use hip-hop lyrics as mottos, but it’s true that I don’t punch a clock. Or, as I put it to my neighbor this afternoon, “I have an expensive twenty-hour-a-week not-working habit.”

Pecan, mince, humble

This one is courtesy of my friend J., responding thus to my offer to eat humble pie: “I prefer pecan. I know not everyone likes the savory pies, i.e. pecan, mince, humble, but I’m sticking to my guns.”

After the war

There is a lot of ephemera in our house. A while ago I picked something off the hallway floor to use as a bookmark. It’s a fragment of a page from an old magazine, and just today I noticed that it said:

HAVE YOU A MODERN “REAMER”?
A well-designed reamer will help you get more juice from oranges—quicker. Select one with a large “orange-size” reaming cone and ample bowl. The “Sunkist” glass reamer (illustrated) is famous for its efficiency. Available nearly everywhere. Priced low. Millions sold. The Sunkist Juicit, electric extractor for home use, will be back after the war.

I found the stolid optimism of the last sentence so touching.

“Glorious rubble”

There are urban spelunkers among us. See what brickfrog is up to!

The world is moving very fast, but brickfrog helps it slow down. He is steadfastly searching through hundreds of pages of turn-of-the-century (last century) primary sources on Google Books to bring you the very non-latest information on the building blocks of our city. Check out the amazing table in this post, showing, among other things, the number of “children who can not read or write English” employed by various firms.