Bringing Up the Rear

I stumbled on a great quote today and would like to share it with you.

A writer is a guy in the hospital wearing one of those gowns that’s open in the back. An editor is walking behind, making sure that nobody can see his ass.

I love editing. I like to think I’m the person protecting the writer’s ass.

Ellie walking with nurse and John behind them

(In the above case, my hubby John was on the lookout in case my [second!] hospital gown fell away! 😆)

When I worked in film and TV as a script revisor/coordinator, I used to hand the script back (on diskette, remember those?!) to the writer with a label noting that it had been Ellified – a play on my name (Ellie). The writer would then know it had been proofread within an inch of its life, and any ungainly repetitions or misspellings were now fixed or gone, baby!

Public domain (with my notation added)

Nothing annoys me more than finding even one – let alone several – typos in a book. Hell, in an article, even.

I remember, years ago, a fellow blogger urging me to read one of his soon-to-be self-published books. I could only get through a few pages. There were at least two typos per page. I found this offensive. How can one dare to offer such careless work to the public, let alone charge them money for it?

For a few years, I ran a weekly feature on this blog, titled “Friday Follies #xxx – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time.” It’s (NO! Its!) Its purpose was to educate and entertain readers with mistakes I found in various media. I finally ended the column out of pure exhaustion. It’s tiring, finding goofs and correcting them in a hopefully interesting way. There are several years’ worth of Friday Follies available if you’re curious – or, if you’ve seen them before, feeling nostalgic; the heading is in the main menu up top.

That’s it for this post, kind people!

(By the way, regarding the initial quote, I’d love to single out the source for it: the late celebrated editor, John Bennet. It’s been quoted and tweeted and retweeted so many times that I had to dig a bit to root out the original source.)



6 thoughts on “Bringing Up the Rear

  1. Granted, I have found very good self-published works, but many are atrocious. I was screening for a literary award, and was gobsmacked to find TWO mistakes on the back cover of one book. I didn’t even want to look inside at that point.

    Liked by 1 person

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