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> >But ... does an editor have to know what it's called? Or do they really just
> >need to spot something amiss and be able to get the writer to then recognize
> >and change it?
> That's not a totally unreasonable position, but I see it as being both time-consuming and non-reproducible. If what I am aiming for is continuous improvement (in the sense that I want each of my clients to get better with time and reduce the editing burden as a result), then I want my editors to have the vocabulary--and be able to teach the vocabulary--to talk about the written language with those clients.
To expand a bit on Dick's comments:
The advantage of having the words is that it's easier to talk about
the situation. In any situation, you can manage without a
specialized vocabulary, but the efforts to explain yourself are much
greater, and distract from the immediate issue. Imagine, for
example, the effort of trying to explain an obscure prounoun
reference if you don't have a word for "antecedent," or even for
"pronoun." Then remember that that is a relatively simple example.
In the case of an editor, not knowing the words seems especially
inappropriate. Someone who fine tunes words, yet doesn't know the
necessary words seems untrustworthy by definition. I think that most
people would question their competence, or at least their
professionalism. Like any reader, an editor without the vocabulary
could still make useful comments, but you'd have to wonder what
level of expertise was behind the comments.
Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com
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