Why I Won’t Correct your Grammar in E-mails

Some people don’t want to communicate with copyeditors, afraid that we will correct their grammar or point out all their verbal tics. Some of my friends get downright self-conscious about it. But I’m nicer than this. I actually think it’s rude to point out grammatical flaws when I’m not paid to do it or when I’m not making fun of my paying job or the world at large. (This post may make my blog a giant hypocrisy.)

In fact, I take great pleasure in using the word “really” 35 times in an email to my friend or writing in lowercase letters. I do, however, use an em or an en dash correctly in an email every single time. Some habits are harder to break than others.

Savvy readers might have noticed that I sometimes make my titles uppercase and other times they are lowercase. Why am I inconsistent? Because I’m not paid to care about it. I like to think of it as a healthy work–life balance.

What about you? Can you stop being a copyeditor when you’re not on the clock?


2 responses to “Why I Won’t Correct your Grammar in E-mails

  1. It’s hard to read without a pen in hand but if the story sucks me in far enough, I do. I never edit e-mail or call attention to errors from friends but I notice. You can’t help but notice.

  2. Pingback: Etiquette for Copyeditors | Fangs and Clause

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