Comment 60115

By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted February 21, 2011 at 16:57:40 in reply to Comment 60109

I was wondering about the time frame in that article, too- I was an undergraduate in the mid-eighties and remember how important it was to me and to almost everyone of my acquaintance to be able to express ourselves clearly.

I also remember how, in my third year, after 2 years of science courses with lab work and fact-cramming, I found myself forgetting Sr. Mary Pat's lessons and writing the most dense, turgid introduction to a formal lab report I'd ever read. I took it to a campus writing lab, where the English PhD on duty sat me down and made me explain to him precisely what I was trying to say, then set me about writing it clearly. And that's the job of an editor- to help the writer say precisely what he or she means to say.

If you are interested in more recent references, here's one I ran across, in which the author laments the lost art of editing:

The demands of a global marketplace, the advent of digitisation and the increased importance of sales, publicity and marketing have all contributed to changing the face of an industry that quietly congratulated itself on its genteel bohemianism.

And here's another one I saw a year back. It's an interview with a copy editor from the New Yorker.

You think all those New Yorker authors just spit out perfect copy on the first try?

Comment edited by Michelle Martin on 2011-02-21 17:01:44

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