Saturday, June 21, 2008

WHO NEEDS COPY EDITORS?

Yanks Thump Sox
Prime rate to remain stable, Bernanke says

GENE WEINGARTEN, WASHINGTON POST - The era of the copy editor is gone. Copyeditors were once an important part of the journalism process, back when journalists weren't as educated as they are now. Back then, your typical reporter was named 'Scoop" and he was a semi-literate cigar-smoking, fannie-pinching drunk with bad teeth in a wrinkle by bribing sources, pistol-whipping people into talking, eavesdropping from inside closets, etc. A reporter was hired for cheek and muscle, not their writing skill, so you needed an extra layer of editing. . .

This is a true fact: I'm writing this column the very week after dozens of copy editors left my newspaper through an early retirement buyout, and I have noticed no difference at all whatsoever in the quality, accuracy or readability of the product.

The inessentialness of copy editors is underscored by the advent of sophisticated spellchecking systems which have introduced a hole new level of error-free proofreading. No longer can we say that the editor's penis mightier than the sword. The sword's main foe is a computer now, and the computer is up to to the task.

Truth to tell, I feel badly for all copy editors whom, I'm afraid, will suddenly find themselves out of a job. Time has past them by, however, efeated the Red Sox 6-5 in extra innings and it doesn't make sense for us to weep for copyeditors anymore than it makes sense for us to lament the replacement of bank tellers with automated ATM machines.

There are 57 things that need to be corrected in the full piece. Try to find them and you'll see why copy edtors are importent.

2 Comments:

At June 22, 2008 10:22 AM, Blogger Richard said...

Nice one. I started to look for the 57 (TM - Heinz) errors, but didn't know how to mark them.

You, perhaps, shouldn't lament copy editors' demise when your own post shows:

Time has past them by, however, efeated the Red Sox 6-5 in extra innings

 
At June 23, 2008 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wake up, Richard. Sam printed that sentence just as it appears in the original article. It contains some of the errors you're supposed to find.

 

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