02 January 2013

Quote of the day

I just came across the following passage on Language Log (here), which neatly sums up my philosophy of copy-editing (and which, I think, should be every copy-editor’s new year’s resolution every year):
Copy editors are meant to be gnomes working invisibly below decks to ensure that the engine of prose runs smoothly. They shouldn’t obtrude themselves conspicuously into the middle of a clause, so that the reader has to break off his attention to the writer’s argument and do a little mental stutter-step before he can remark to himself, “Oh, I see—it’s that data-must-be-plural business.” Copy-editors desirous of such notice should try another trade, one where they’re not required to hide their LittB under a bushel.
I wonder if anyone out there has any other new year’s resolutions for copy-editors?

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