Monday, March 22, 2004

Ah, an appreciative writer

Wendy Hoke, a freelance writer (and editor) in Cleveland, writes an ode to copy editors:
I'm often struck at those who snoot their noses at copy editing, many of whom reside in the business world ("that's only for newspapers" I've heard one consultant say). Well, I don't care if you're writing a newsletter, a sales letter, an annual report or a thank you letter, good grammar and clear writing will always prevail. I know the CEO of one large publicly traded company who writes amazingly well in his annual report. ... He said if you're CEO of a company and you can't communicate well, you don't deserve to be CEO. I couldn't agree more.
It's hard to trust those who argue against copy editing. I know it's a cost-benefit analysis that keeps many small publications from employing editors. But I think it's a misanalysis of the "benefit" to assume that copy editors can be discarded.

Many take one look at the nit-picking, the grammar quibbling, and say they don't need us. But it's the big-picture questions we ask, the errors in fact we find, the right-on heads we write that make the service so valuable.

OK, choir, I'm done preaching.


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