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When I am Copyeditor General ...: Not even the President will be off-limits (Sir)


Not even the President will be off-limits (Sir)

Dear President-elect Obama,

I see you're currently choosing your Cabinet. That's great. It's important to make the right decisions and bring in the right people. There's a lot of cleaning up to be done, and you're going to need help.

May I present, for your consideration, the possibility of a new, nominated position under the Department of Education?

I see this role as being responsible for maintaining standards of grammatical competence in all communications from commercial, non-profit and government organzations to the public: signage, posters, ads, websites — you name it. Heaven knows there are plenty of examples to justify the need.

It's time for the Copyeditor General.

I should warn you that this role should have a free hand to stamp out typos, punctuation errors and usability issues wherever they occur. And that goes right to the top, sir.

Let me explain.

It's great that your people have created to keep us up to date with the transition toward January 20. But I need to draw your attention to a few areas.

There's the serial comma issue, for instance. Are you for it or against it?

Here's the best one, sadly too large to embed here in a readable size: a paragraph that gives it to you both ways.

There are other hiccups on the site, both small and easily overlooked:

And large and frankly shocking, like the dropdown menu that (at least through yesterday) linked from this:

to this:

Thankfully, this last has now been fixed. But how long did it take?

Copyeditor General's ruling: Drop me an email, sir. I'll be waiting.

Oh, also, could you find a post for Melinda? She brought the serial comma issue to my attention, which means she's Deputy of the Week. Thanks.

1 comment:

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Ha! Copyeditor General—I'd love to see that! Just imagine a president whose administration led the way grammatically and syntactically. What a lovely dream.

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