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If you kill him, he won’t learn nothin’!

29 November 2010

Editing. It’s where I got my start, professionally, working for a few national computer magazines in Lincoln, Nebraska. I started out as a copy editor (“Hey, you’re using the wrong verb tense! You monster!”), then got promoted to content editor (“This story just doesn’t flow well. You’re worse than Hitler.”). So, you’d think when it came time to edit 47 Echo, there wouldn’t be a whole lot for me to do, right?

Oh, no. I had plenty to do, and my outstanding editor Rhonda Stapleton found stuff that I didn’t even realize I’d done. First, I had to come to grips with a hard truth: I abuse the em-dash. And I mean a lot. I’m in counseling for it now, and one day I might beat the addiction, but for now — small steps.

What about you, friends? What’s your worst grammatical or punctuatory crime? What’s the one you see most that just gets under your skin?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 29 November 2010 0719

    I’m immersed in line edits of a sort of anthology just now, and the thing that has me beating my head on the desk is the abuse of the semicolon. Everyone loves to use it, but no one knows how. The same could be said for ellipses marks. Good googly moogly, I wish I had a nickel for every time someone misused those.

  2. 29 November 2010 0751

    I always keep on using lots of commas. I just keep on thinking they’re neccesary, every now and then, and people always catch me doing that. Very, annoying.

    I’m one of those grammar Nazis, correcting people while they’re speaking. The one thing I always catch is the incorrect use of ‘are’.

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