Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99 for 4 weeks.


Ghouls and Zombies (supernatural entities)
Those damn copy editors

Back in December at Language Log, the urbane Mark Liberman commented on a text distorted by a ham-fisted attempt to convert British English to American, saying, "God save us from such copy editors." That provoked a spirited defense of copy editors in the comments by the doughty Dick Margulis. They leave me with an impulse to explain to my civilian readers what goes on in copy editing.(Colleagues, you can lean back on your oars for a while.) Think of a copy editor as a parent trying to clean up a teenager's room. You open the door and, God above, there are discarded articles of clothing on every surface. You start to dig in and discover dirty plates, some with unconsumed food...