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Writing Tripe Since 2004
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Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Where do my editorial responsibilities end?
When I'm at work, I'm an editor. I never went to school for or took a class on editing, per se. (Working on it, but not yet). But when I was in High School I had the same English teacher for 3 years—sophomore through senior—and he was a grammar god. Mr. S. made us memorize numbered grammar rules. Then he would hand out exercises with paragraph upon paragraph of grammatical errors that would make even P. Diddy cringe. When we fixed something—say, put in a comma where one was missing—we not only had to put the comma there, we had to know why we were putting it there. So we had to place the number of the rule we were using above the correction. Some strange mixture of chromosomes from my engineer father and my common sense mother made me thrive on this kind of thing. I love it. I love that there are rules and if you follow them most of the time and break them when necessary you sound smart.

People know this about me. And anytime people know something about you it gets you into trouble. (Don't Tell Anybody Anything) Usually it's one of three things:

  1. They love it when I make mistakes (hey, they're usually TYPOS, dammit); and they very much enjoy pointing mistakes out to me that they'd never even mention to one of their other friends.
  2. They think that all I'm doing when I listen to them speak, or read something they write, is critiquing it. Ok, this might be true, but unlike the example above, I don't always point it out...unless it's especially funny. More than one person has said "I'm afraid to talk in front of you." Of me? Come on people. The worst I'll do is blog about name. Muhahahaha!
  3. They think I want to edit all the time. No, I don't particularly want to read your resume, cover letter, or the announcement you have to read at the meeting.** It's my job, not my life. I don't ask you to quality check my potatoes when I invite you over for dinner because I'm sure you get enough of that on the assembly line. Schemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated.
I'm sure none of the above is going to change anytime soon. In fact, I'm sure other people with certain kinds of jobs experience much the same phenomenon. Truth be told, I don't even really mind it much, because, well, I do sort of edit all the time.

For example, this morning I was at Dunkin' Donuts getting a coffee. On one of the registers was an upside down donut box which read, and I quote, "PLEASE PLACE BASKIN ROBBINS ORDERS AT FOR REGISTERS." I felt a physical pain run through my chest that had nothing to do with the lack of caffeine in my bloodstream. That's not just an error, that's a monstrosity. It doesn't even mean anything. (Note: there aren't four registers so it wasn't a misspelling) I don't think I'll go back there for coffee. That's just the kind of girl I am.

**If you've asked me recently to help you with your resume, etc., and I said yes, it means that I wanted to, so stop with the indignant faces.
posted by LoRi~fLoWer
  • At 4:42 PM, Blogger Amanda said…

    That's why you should carry a thick, red Sharpie and CORRECT the errors on store signs. Har!

  • At 9:29 AM, Blogger Gary said…

    You're definitely not the only one. I refuse to shop at Wale's Largest Computer Warehouse(sic).

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