“You’re draining the life out of our stories.”
The plaintive cry, or an equivalent about “greying” the stories, typically comes when a copy editor has excised something dear to a writer’s heart. Unfortunately, writers, like parents, sometimes bestow immoderate affection on their homlier productions. Judge for yourself from this sampling of authorial treasures singled out for revision or removal by those cold-eyed, literal-minded, rule-bound, tone-deaf bastards on the copy desk:
* For the 1 million to 1.5 million Americans who test positive for the human immunodeficiency virus, which destroys the body’s defense against disease, living is all-important.
* Spring has sprung and besides trying to cope with the pollen attacking your sinuses, the staff at Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center Inc. wants you to be aware of another usual spring ritual: suicides.
* The late fall sunrise is a frosty Popsicle that pokes with sadistic glee at the previous evening's enthusiasms.
* It was the second consecutive controlling performance for Loyola, a team that had been exciting in the manner of a blind grab into the toilet –– you never knew what you’re going to get.
* For any young company, capital is like mother’s milk, the sustenance needed for growth. A captive audience of attentive financiers offered hope for a long, cool drink.
* When doody calls on the picturesque shoreline, the city is no longer answering. The city’s “Mutt Mitts” program, which provided dog walkers with free shoebox-size plastic bags to clean up after their animals since 1999, has been scrapped because of budget cuts.
* One day James Larrimore had two arms, and the next day he only had one. In between was a horrible accident involving a mulching machine.
Lord, forgive us dull-witted copy editors for our offenses against Art.