Wednesday, April 13, 2016

On the Copy Desk

The WORDmeister says: This one’s for my JCOM 3120 copy editing students, past and present.

Humorless Scriveners

“We grumbled constantly about our copyreaders, who were the first people in the newsroom to read what we had written, and they had the authority to arrange our articles and to trim them or rewrite them extensively without consulting us and without removing the bylines that identified us as the authors. 

“We suspected that these desk-bound deprecators and grammatists, these humorless scriveners and censors of our work, privately envied the freedom and the modicum of fame we enjoyed as news gatherers in the outside world. I ordinarily returned home from the newsroom at 8:00 p.m. fearing that one of the heavy-handed copyreaders had mangled my lead, had blue-penciled most of my favorite phrases.”

Gay Talese, author and former New York Times reporter, from A Writer’s Life, 2006 (Thanks to alert WORDster Sara Burroughs, a recovering humorless scrivener)

Editorial Comment: Just cut from the bottom.

PeezPix by Ted Pease

Jack, Homeless Hound

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Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

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