God Hates Copyeditors

A lot of the time I’m cool. I only venture my opinions on grammar, usage, and the English language when people ask me to. It’s been a hard week in that regard.

1. One of the books I read this week (or last week technically) had a map with the word “Nantucket” slapped right on Provincetown (which is at the end of Cape Cod). Provincetown might not be famous outside of the Northeast and gay communities across the States, but surely everyone knows that Nantucket is an island? The other book had a kerning problem. (Stop swooning, B.) The “s” and the “h” touched. This happens in certain fonts, one of the book designer’s tasks is to keep that from happening. And if I notice it, it’s a pretty obvious problem.

2. DP and I were minding our own business, as much as we ever do, eating pizza at one of our favorite new pizza joints, when we heard a woman say “Let’s take it to the next level.” She was having dinner with a coworker. I think they were lawyers. Note to self: People who use “let’s take it to the next level” in casual speech should be denied service in restaurants.

3. One of my friends got his article accepted (with revisions) to a journal. It was the first time he had had an article accepted and was asking me about the process. Those of you who are familiar with APA style know that on the cover page of a paper you put “Running head: TITLE OF ARTICLE”. This is to indicate to the journal publishers how you would like the title to appear in the running head (i.e., the heading at the top of the page once it was published). My friend’s second reviewer said something like “There were many strengths in the article titled ‘Running Head On the Study of Earwax in Kittens’…”.

4. Yahoo! News had some stupid headline about a Sandy Hook mother “still” dreaming about her child. I’m sorry. That was two weeks ago. That woman is lucky to sleep; of course she is dreaming about her dead child. Jesus H. Christ. Hire an editor with a conscience.

What pisses you off?

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17 responses to “God Hates Copyeditors

  1. I have two current festering hatreds:

    “Any more,” which is two words, should never, ever, EVER be used after a positive statement, only a negative one: “It isn’t like that any more,” NOT “It’s like that any more,” or (dear God no) “Any more, it’s like that.”

    And also, the use of “anyways” outside of dialogue or vernacular pieces or JOKES is anathema to me.

    But I don’t have a problem with people taking pizza to the next level, as long as they don’t mind taking the stairs so the elevator doesn’t smell like cheese.

  2. My ignorance. I have no idea what APA style is, nor have I ever heard the term “running head.” This surely shows that I was asleep in school. No surprise, this.

    No wonder you’re killing me in WWF!

    • No, see, if you were a reviewer for a scholarly journal, you would know what APA (one might hope) was. You really would. (I’m killing you because I have, unfortunately, devoted myself to killing you in WWF. This is mostly because you like to start out with eighty-point words. Gah.)

  3. Oh, and I’m back because it pisses me off that the NRA has a new ad out about the president’s children being protected by armed guards, that they are therefore “more important than” other children. It’s infuriating, the number of people who will love this ad, and further infuriating that this is really all the NRA has as an argument. I mean, really.

  4. “I think they were lawyers.”

    Let the record show that this ex-lawyer has never, to the best of her knowledge and understanding, used said expression.

    Typos in books piss me off. Aren’t they supposed to be caught by, uhm, copyeditors?

    • That was an observation, not a crack at the profession. In fact, I feel like “take it to the next level” is a very business-y word, and I might have been surprised that lawyers would stoop to that level.

      ….if publishers were to hire said copyeditors and pay them what they are worth…

  5. 1. I never knew that had a name! Thank you, dear Indy!
    2. I could create a dictionary of phrases I wish would drop off of the face of the earth and was looking for a place to vent about my new one: “Let’s liase.”
    This is used by people as they’re taking it to the next level, hitting it out of the park, drilling down, and running it up the flag pole. After these feats have been accomplished, said business-y sorts have taken to, “…let’s drill it down, take it to the next level and we’ll liase early next week.” AAAHHHHHHH!
    I’m only liasing if I can wear my flower cape and mask, thankyouverymuch.
    Being on and off one’s game is also, tres importante, as is adding in french words or saying, “Ciao”, the one Italian word up to snuff apparently, when hanging up the phone.
    I must stop. I feel an aneurysm coming on.

  6. Call me crazy but I love finding typos in published works. The imperfection gives me faith that I’m alive in the world.

    My anger pisses me off. I blame my genetic code, of course, but I still pray for its resolution.

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