Thursday, April 02, 2009

Copyediting & Why You Need Us

I don't know if I ever announced it on this blog or not, but while I'm waiting to get my Big Break in writing, I fully intend to be a copyeditor. Why? Because the world needs copyeditors and no one else seems to want the job. Everyone else relies entirely on spellcheck to find their mistakes and they don't even want to get into grammar or anything remotely technical about style. And then there's little ole me who picks up a copy of her school's newspaper so that she can make marks all over it correcting grammar and spelling. Yeah...I actually do that. One day if I ever want to write for them again, I will present the editor with my pile of edited papers and tell him that he really needs me. I'm fairly certain that he will be inclined to agree.

Today while at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned my hygienist was talking to me about copyediting. (I love my hygienist by the way, she always remembers things about me, like my English major & that I am very allergic to mint) She was saying that if she ever decided to give up dental work, that she would get her degree in English and probably do the same as I am. There is a poster in that room that is very poorly worded and it bothers her very much. She made a great comment about it: "They spent so much time trying to find the perfect blonde model that they didn't even bother to read what they had printed on there." I think that's true of most things in society right now. These people who are in charge of these sorts of things just think to themselves "Well, it looks good," and that's it. They worry more about the appearance of being correct rather than actually being correct. Why? Because people tend to glance at things and never give anything a proper look. And even if you're not reading every word, you need copyeditors. You need us so that your message gets across, so that there are no mix-ups, and so that your product does not end up on the front page of Fail Blog.

And you need us to do all the grammatical things that you don't want to. This goes double for authors.

1 comment:

Becky Jean said...

Amen! I spent about 5 years as a copy editor in some capacity (never fully employed). I realized before going on to get a journalism degree that I couldn't work in that atmosphere. As I co-author a book chapter this spring, I realize I'm a much better editor than I am a writer! :)


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