Short Saturday: I Am Not Editing Our Conversation

No, really. I’m not. Not outwardly, not inwardly. Promise.

The Old Editor Says … Edit to live, don’t live to edit.*

It’s not your job to correct other people’s speech. It’s not your job to correct menus or public signage. It’s not your job, however much it may appeal to you as an avocation, to be a self-important, officious, pedantic, uninvited proscriber.

Your job is, when invited, for pay or pro bono, to examine texts submitted to you and make them conform to the standards of accuracy, clarity, and precision appropriate to the subject, the audience, and the publication. That ought to be enough.

John E. McIntyre, from his book THE OLD EDITOR SAYS: MAXIMS FOR WRITING AND EDITING © 2013

* I keep telling y’all this. So relax!

 

Tweet: I am not editing you—not in my mind, not in my speech, not in a house, not with a mouse.
Tweet: I only edit what I’m paid to edit. Honest.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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6 Comments

  1. Thank you, Jamie. I needed to read that.

  2. Sacha black says:

    Ha! Brilliant post – you know that’s why it took me nearly a year and a half of reading before I dared post a comment!

  3. Stephanie Kane says:

    I confess I’ve typed a few words and then thought better of it more than once. ;-)

  4. […] Note: here are some related posts: Are You a Prescriptivist or a Descriptivist? Your Fifth-Grade Teacher Versus Me The Manuscript, the Editor, The Thief, and Her Grammar Nazi True Confessions of a Reformed Pedant Reading Matters When the Pupil Is Ready, the Teacher Will Come I Am Not Editing Our Conversation […]

One Trackback

  1. By Proper English: Us Versus Them on 18 July, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    […] Note: here are some related posts: Are You a Prescriptivist or a Descriptivist? Your Fifth-Grade Teacher Versus Me The Manuscript, the Editor, The Thief, and Her Grammar Nazi True Confessions of a Reformed Pedant Reading Matters When the Pupil Is Ready, the Teacher Will Come I Am Not Editing Our Conversation […]