During my first few years in elementary school in Elizaville, Kentucky, the morning routine was set. At the beginning of the school day we stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord’s Prayer (Protestant version). In 1962 the United States Supreme Court held, in Engel v. Vitale, that it was unconstitutional for students to be required to recite official prayers in the public schools.Read more
On May 25 the national conference of Editors Canada will convene in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Unable to disentangle myself from the paragraph factory, I can’t be with them this year. Wish I were there. But I offer the text of the keynote address I delivered last year in Ottawa.Read more
One of the readers of my workday “at the desk” dispatches suggested this evening that I should collect them into a book or a calendar. And a former colleague chimed into suggest “a calendar with pics of copy editors in Speedos,” a prospect at which the mind’s eye closes in horror.
I don’t sense a clamor for a book, and I don’t have an inclination to make a calendar.Read more
Karen Conlin, fellow editor and winner of this year’s Robinson Prize at ACES: The Society of Editing, tweeted today in exasperation:
“Grammar-shaming and -policing is why people say idiotic things to ALL of us when they find out we either teach English or are editors.
“ ‘Oh, I'll have to watch what I say around you!’
“Don't. IDGAF how you talk or write unless I'm PAID for it.”Read more
If you have been following this blog, you know that I am not one of the I-learned-it-once-and-it’s-forever-true editors.
In June 2007 I posted that I favored maintaining the gauntlet/gantlet distinction in the Associated Press Stylebook—that a gauntlet is a glove thrown down as a challenge and a gantlet is a flogging ordeal, even though the history of the two words is muddy.Read more
I saw a tweet this morning from the proprietor of an editing service who said, “Editing should be a positive experience! Never settle for less.” A prompt response came from @paulwiggins: “Never hire me if all you seek is a positive experience.”
I agree with Mr. Wiggins. Nobody enjoys being edited. You don’t enjoy being edited. I don’t enjoy being edited.Read more