If you’ve ever worked with an editor, you know that receiving a colorful track-changes-filled document back isn’t uncommon.
Some editors are straight to the point. Others can be a little too friendly and encouraging when tough love might work better.
In both cases, editors have their own little language with accompanying symbols. So it helps if you can interpret what they’re ACTUALLY saying and read between the lines. Having been brutally edited more times than I’d like to admit, I’m well-versed in editor speak.
So here’s my little guide to interpret what your editor actually means: Read more
Editors are my favorite.
They are the unsung heroes of the content world. Writers get all the credit, but editors make the content sing.
If someone ever tells you that editing isn’t that important, or that anyone can do it, or that you don’t really need to hire an editor for your article or book, then you should know this: You’ve just received the worse piece of writing advice in the history of writing advice.
Everyone needs an editor. Even the President of the United States.
Need proof? Here are just a few of the many times using an editor would have been highly beneficial. Read more
This English teacher is a winner at life.
Some love-stricken student left a love note in his English class. So he took the opportunity to correct said student’s grammar within said love note.
The results were frickin’ hilarious.
Well played, Steven Wedel from Oklahoma City. You’re awesome. Read more
If you don’t know McSweeney’s, you should, especially if you have a drier sense of humor.
A friend passed this hilarious article along to me last week.
Did you know you can edit your novel using math?
According to McSweeney’s, you absolutely can. Here’s several of examples:
So I guess Sinead O’ Connor recently wrote Miley Cyrus a letter about not prostituting herself to the music industry. Or something like that.
In response, singer/songwriter/independent hipster Sufjan Stevens got in on the fun, writing Miley a letter about some grammar issues in one of her new songs called “Get It Right.”
Outside of ghostwriting, copyediting has to be one of the most thankless jobs in the writing and publishing industries.
I’ve worked briefly as an editor in the past, and I’ve worked with copyeditors my entire career, and those guys and girls rarely get any love.
To me, copyeditors are the last line of defense.
They’re like the dudes at the top of the castle who swat back all the grunts climbing ladders. Throw that comma splice to the ground! Slice the neck off that split infinitive! Cut the ear off that run on sentence!
Writers, we kinda, sorta get grammar. We know enough about it to get by and fake our way through an article. But the editors are the ones who really get it. They’re not just parroting what their high school English teacher said—they actually know why she said it.
About halfway into reading All The King’s Men, I realized my copy of the book is the “restored” edition.
I noticed this because, in all the other reviews about the book and the movie, the main character is referenced as Willie Stark. In my copy, the character goes by the name of Willie Talos.
When I first noticed this, I thought maybe the character undergoes some kind of name change or something within the context of the story. But, then, I noticed in LARGE letters on the front of the book: RESTORED EDITION.
Basically, the publisher, Houghton Mifflin, decided to overwrite a lot of the changes Robert Penn Warren’s editors made—of which RPW was supposedly not crazy about—and revert the text back to the earlier draft. All of this is explained in the book’s afterword.
One of the main sources of contention between RPW and his editors had to do with the main character’s name. Here’s the letter that one of Warren’s editors sent to him during the process of revisions.