Revolt against the editors: There happens to be a lot of sniping at editors going around.
Here’s Mickey Kaus firing one shot.
Here’s Virginia Postrel taking aim with Norm Geras and others firing.
Stephen Green adds his gunpowder.
Not a growth industry, that.
There’s an almost perfect inverse relationship between the quality of writers and the number of complaints about editing they provide. Ask anybody who edits to pay the rent and they’ll fill you in: The worst complain the most.
Hmm, complaining of your boss should have a good reason, for example, though I’d used design instead of devise, it made sense to me, Virginia. Why? Well, dictionary.com says the same for both!
I think another lesson is to pick your battles carefully.
Personally I’ve done some editting of technical articles on a marginal website, and I have to say that even I with my limitied grasp of the English language could do quite a bit for those articles submitted by English speaking writers, as well as catch some technical errors when they occurred.
It has to do with eyeballs, getting a second opinion. For a large newspaper I’m sure it also is to prevent obvious errors, have some checks and balances and to check the fact checking of the journalist.
I sure wish I’d thought a second or third time before posting on the Usenet, an editor would have saved me some gaffes.
Sure, editing might have saved Easterbrook from embarrassing himself. But would pre-publication moral scrubbing have benefited the public? Maybe we’re better served by reading what Easterbrook really thinks, and judging him accordingly. Newspaper photographers who doctor photos get fired for distorting reality; perhaps “morality editing” is immoral too.
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