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When I am Copyeditor General ...: February 2009


Temptation will be permanent

Many companies are looking for ways to cut costs these days; one common solution is to replace full-time employees with workers hired through staffing agencies. With no benefits or (albeit worthless) retirement plans to worry about, businesses can see significant savings.

But just because temping is useful in the business world, there's no reason to try to apply it to all areas of life.

And my favorite, because it's from a site called Taking Children Seriously:

Copyeditor General's ruling: I see no good reason to hire out your dinner service, your children's palate or yourself—not even if the devil is running the company.


Cupid will trade his bow for a red pen

Happy Valentine's Day! Please accept these tokens of my esteem.

First, of course, a card with a heartfelt message:

And then some thoughtful gifts:

Copyeditor General's ruling: Nothing says "I love you" like a long, slow, passionate session of heavy proofreading.

Good grammar will make bath time lots of fun

Allow me to translate:

Ducky Is by the Dozen
Rubber Ducky You Are in Possession of The One

Who doesn't love rubber ducky is? They've been around since the created of the 1800 ...

It's even rumored that Queen Elizabeth owned a rubber ducky (which, being in the past tense, implies either Liz or her bath toy are no longer with us)!

It (Her Majesty's duck, apparently) became hugely popular ... and since then has achieved iconic status in the USA (which explains why Liz no longer has the duck; it's headlining at Caesar's Palace next month).

Now days (who needs extra vowels anywy?) ... it's one of our most popular theme baby gifts (any thoughts on this one? Popular theme-baby? No?).

Copyeditor General's ruling: This apparent ignorance of basic grammar makes me so tense. I need a tubby filled with water and nice fluffy suds.


A dictionary will be as vital as a compass

Imagine you're out on the Appalachian Trail, running low on gorp, trying to figure out whether you can make it to the next shelter before nightfall.

Do you rely on your equipment to guide you to safety? Do you have a whistle with a clear tone, a reliable compass, a strong light to illuminate your path?

Or do you have this?

Oh, you think that's going to help you through the woods, do you? (Wait—was that an owl or a coyote? Are there bears in these parts?)

Perhaps you should have paid closer attention to the packaging. The manufacturer certainly didn't.

Copyeditor General's ruling: Now how safe do you feel?
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