I uppercased K.D. Lang’s name in a story... and it felt good.
September 10, 2004 10:36 AM   Subscribe

Testy Copy Editors is a site run by WaPo Financial Copy Editor Philip Blanchard, with guest columns and discussions dedicated to blowing off steam for people in the occasionally tense business of making words fit, parse properly and make sense in print.

If you've actually edited copy under a deadline, or know someone who has, you know how thankless the job can sometimes be.
posted by chicobangs (16 comments total)

 
This is great stuff. Copy editing can suck, especially if you have no say over the style manual. When I edited a music magazine back in the mid-90s, it used to kill me to have to change "rock'n'roll" to "Rock and Roll".

But, like any bitch-about-your-work site, it's a disaster waiting to happen. How long before someone crosses the line between bitching about their work and bitching about their employers?
posted by jpoulos at 10:54 AM on September 10, 2004


Wow, cool find. I've got a, um, friend I'm gonna send over there.
posted by me3dia at 11:01 AM on September 10, 2004


I uppercased K.D. Lang’s name in a story the other day.

Saucy!
posted by soyjoy at 11:09 AM on September 10, 2004


Seriously, nice find. As the millennium changeover neared, I went back and forth on the phone with the AP, fruitlessly trying to convince them to rescind the ruling that the plural should be "millenniums" rather than the obvious "millennia." They wouldn't budge. So our newsroom's (not my current one) headline writers topped a story about local indians that had occupied our area since antiquity with the hed, "For Millenniums, such-and-such Indians Thrived Here." Stupidest-lookin' front page I ever saw.

Testy enough for ya?
posted by soyjoy at 11:12 AM on September 10, 2004


Ooh! Gee! Hold me back! My desire to read "Testy Copy Editors" is only rivalled by my desire to pop "Constipated Call Girls" in the DVD player. Mmmm. That's good shit.
posted by scarabic at 11:31 AM on September 10, 2004


Reminds me of BuzzKiller.
posted by fenriq at 11:42 AM on September 10, 2004


Well scarabic, don't keep us in suspense. You gonna watch the movie or not?
posted by chicobangs at 12:23 PM on September 10, 2004


My desire to read "Testy Copy Editors" is only rivalled by my desire to pop "Constipated Call Girls" in the DVD player.

Saucy!
posted by soyjoy at 12:23 PM on September 10, 2004


Was that last word too subtle, chicobangs? I'm joshing you, 'course. I know several testy copy editors and they'll get a kick out of -- DAMN! [remote control flies from lubed hand].
posted by scarabic at 12:30 PM on September 10, 2004


Aw, c'mon. I was playing along, ferfucksake!
(Dub me a copy? I have Impacted Debutantes, vols. 1-17, except for #11. I can hook you up.)
posted by chicobangs at 12:47 PM on September 10, 2004


(This, incidentally, is why I go seven months between FPPs.)







Topic, anyone?

On-the-job horror stories? Any contributors? The forums there seem quite civil.
posted by chicobangs at 12:50 PM on September 10, 2004


Ooh! Ooh! Do I get to self-link?? (To an article I wrote about the Testy Copy Editors and some other copy editing blogs. I thought about posting this site on MeFi, but decided against it. Happy someone else took the initiative.)
posted by grrarrgh00 at 3:33 PM on September 10, 2004


Copy editing can suck, especially if you have no say over the style manual.

Haha, I totally agree. I guess I've been extremely lucky to have worked for places that have used reasonably flexible style guides, or style guides I just agree with anyway. Gotta watch out nowadays, people are going crazy and changing 'Web' to 'web' and 'Internet' to 'internet' and I am going to rebel!
posted by wackybrit at 4:06 PM on September 10, 2004


(sort of on topic) : I can still remember my old managing editor, a copy editor for years and years, dancing a little jig when he received word from the AP one day that teenager no longer needed to be hyphenated as teen-ager. Ironically, I've spent the last two years informing my compatriots at a college newspaper (and later, a small community paper) that teenager was indeed now a non-hyphenated word. I don't really understand why the AP puts out new styleguides every year if none of the copy editors ever read the new ones.
posted by Happydaz at 7:58 PM on September 10, 2004


ah, thank the deities for good copy editors... I had a close call with a print run of a quarter million menus for a seafood restaurant once...an article on the menu was discussing how you buy shrimp by the count...but we had omitted the "o" - oops. thankfully, a sharp-eyed pressman caught the error early in the run. after that we hired copy editors to review most jobs before sending them to press.

thanks for the link - between this and the fiction bitch post of yesterday, it's a great week for editors on mefi.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:15 PM on September 10, 2004


That's not copy editing, that's proofreading, dammit! Don't add to the confusion that diminishes the status of editors everywhere. Every time I get a job on which someone has written "To be proofed by editorial" I cross out "proofed" and write "read." In red ink.

Great post, chicobangs!
posted by languagehat at 6:03 AM on September 11, 2004


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