No, this time, it's not an issue of global importance, like some others I've asked for your help on. This time it's personal.
Below is a copy of an email I sent this morning. If you're bugged by the same thing, why not let them know? Thanks.
Sent: 1/24/2012 08:45:10 AM
To: "Feedback, NYT" <feedback at nytimes.com>
URL: (pretty much every page on the site)
[Added to this CC: Screenshot here, in case you don't know what I'm talking about. [-- ed.]]
I mean, let's face it. It doesn't work to stop copying, if that's why it's there, because both the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-c and the Copy choice under the Edit menu still work. And if the reason you're doing it is to get people to use that pop-up search thing, that's really a bad decision. That thing almost never works. It didn't work when it was "powered by Ask," and it doesn't work now that it's "powered by Wordnik." It is mystified, just to take one example, by people's names, which is the thing I'm most likely to want to look up while reading an article.
What I'd really like to do when I highlight some text and right-click on it is what I get to do on practically every other site on the Web: search for that highlighted text using what I have specified as my browser's default search engine. (The results of such searches, by the way, open in a new tab, so it's not as though even this is going to lose you visitors who don't know what the back button is.)
Please fix this. It is a glaring annoyance on an otherwise very fine site -- the only one I pay to access. Worse, it is an amateurish and failed attempt at something that seems motivated by nothing so much as Web-phobic newspaper bosses from the last century.
P.S. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you'd like to discuss further.