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Can you outsource this? The brainy copy editor behind the headlines

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This last sentence is intended to rebut the conventional perception people have of these journalists as undemonstrative, timorous folk who analyze and argue over the efficacies of commas and semicolons and such, and throw boring parties. McIntyre is an unequivocal man, faintly theatrical, occasionally pedantic, a touch pompous. A former colleague describes him as “the ultimate fuddy-duddy, who knows his grammar back and forth,” adding, “he dresses like a floorwalker, flower in his lapel and all. But he is respected.”

He sits comfortably in his minute office within the Sun’s immense newsroom, thinly populated these days. Lean and tall, his head of wavy white hair is seemingly attached to the rest of him by his signature bow tie. He wears suspenders. A white tea set suggests his moderate Anglophilia. The office itself bespeaks orderly management: CDs and books line shelves; muted notes of Franz Joseph Haydn drift on the air. His desk is clear — until he drops a thick pile of papers onto it, copies of the 400 postings he has made on his Baltimore Sun blog, “You Don’t Say.”

“Everything I know about language and editing is in these pages,” he says. And more: The blog is the man, a collection of his many parts.

A short posting early this month revealed McIntyre’s thoughtful embrace of globalization. Having observed that Scout, the narcoleptic family cat, is shirking his duties, probably having to do with mice, McIntyre is letting him go and outsourcing the cat’s work to India.

His filmed instructions on managing bow ties suggest fine sartorial taste, as well as his desire to teach, or to perform, or both at the same time.

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