Letters of Note is an incredible gathering of postcards, letters, and all manner of other written correspondence from both recent and less recent history. We’re able to see public figures in a new, much more personal light, as real and interesting people. I love this blog because you never really know what you’re going to get: one day might be a letter from Dr. Seuss to a budding cartoonist, the next a cheeky note from President Kennedy to a autograph scalper, and the next day might bring a joyfully bizarre fan letter from Andy Kaufman to Elvis Presley. It’s truly wonderful, and it's been one of my favorite "finds" of the last year.
After Deadline is the New York Times’ version of what language nuts do each time they read the newspaper—nitpick over the little linguistic details that drive them crazy. The interesting catch here, though, is that the writers of After Deadline critique stories that have appeared in their own paper. Beyond a frank admission of their slip-ups, though, the blog uses errors within the paper to illustrate tricky and sometimes controversial questions of grammar and usage. Their goofs become instructive for those of us who may wonder what goes on “behind the scenes” at The Times, and it’s also reassuring to know that even the most skilled writers and editors in the country sometimes aren’t quite sure how hyphens work.