Picking nits?

Subject: Picking nits?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 14:03:05 -0400

Mary Deaton observes: <<And to John Gilger, I think this thread is not about
nits, but about whether people in our so-called profession know the
fundamental tool they work with - the English language.>>

Speaking as one who hopes never to have to pick actual nits*, I'd have to
say that any reasonably good editor should be an expert at picking nits:
leave them unpicked, and they inevitably mature into something really
unpleasant. If the devil's in the details, then the editor should definitely
sweat getting the details right--even the small details.

* Nit: the egg of a louse or other parasitic insect (also: the insect itself
when it's young)

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

"Arthur C. Clarke had suggested that any sufficiently advanced technology
would be indistinguishable from magic--referring to a possible encounter
with an alien civilization--but if a science journalist had one
responsibility above all else, it was to keep Clarke's Law from applying to
human technology in human eyes."--Greg Egan, "Distress"


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