Toad in the Hole

April 24, 2006

Copyeditors' Hall of Shame

Obit in the San Francisco Chronicle today, a story about Ellis McCune, former president of one of the Cal State campuses, featured this gem in the second paragraph:

"Known for the bow ties he wore and the pipe he smoked, he was the epitome of a tweedy academic -- but the native Texan still loved to barbecue and feed the students whose lives he helped shape."

I'll nitpick the use of "a" with "epitome of" while I'm at it. As I read it, an epitome is of an abstraction, a sort of Platonic ideal of something, hence "the," not the more particular "a."

Posted at April 24, 2006 02:34 AM


"Barbecue and feed them"-- to whom?

Posted by: Emma G at May 2, 2006 06:15 AM

Precisely. I mean the joint is full of vegetarians; who's left to appreciate a properly barbecued student anymore?

Posted by: Ron at May 6, 2006 05:05 PM