Maxims for editors

Things editors would do well to remember:

Accuracy first, then clarity, then precision, and last, if there’s time, elegance.

The Associated Press Stylebook and The Elements of Style have not been incorporated into the Torah, the canonical Gospels, or the United States Code.

Don’t drop The Chicago Manual of Style on your foot.

The writer might be right.

Don’t type two spaces after a period.

Dictionaries tell you how people talk and write, not how you ought to talk and write.

Any project will occupy three times the anticipated time and energy to achieve one-third the intended result.

“i” before “e,” except after “c”

The most embarrassing errors will appear in the big type.

Stand up for the Oxford comma whenever you can.

Satisfaction over identifying other people’s mistakes is best celebrated inwardly – or after work at the bar with other editors.

Someone else will get the glory. Let it go.



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