RE: what to look for in a Tech Editor

Subject: RE: what to look for in a Tech Editor
From: "Mark Baker" <mbaker -at- ca -dot- stilo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 14:39:00 -0400

Dick Margulis wrote:

> I agree. I don't think an editor has to use the names of parts of
> speech in communicating improvements to an author. I merely
> expressed my prejudice that to be a good editor one ought to know
> the technical aspects of grammar cold. Norma loquendi is great
> for writing, but I think it is not entirely sufficient for editing.

As a matter of curiosity Dick, do you mean that a good editor should know
just one of the many different systems of English grammar and impose it on
all prose as if it had been written by the hand of God? If so, which of the
many available systems do you prefer and why?

Or do you mean that a good editor ought to be aware that there are many
systems of English grammar, each of which may teach us something about
English usage, but each of which fails in one way or another to adequately
describe how the language is actually used. Do you mean that they should use
this knowledge to inform their own good sense of contemporary usage, and
also to combat those who learned, in school, ridiculous Latin-based rules
like "never split an infinitive" and still try to foist them on the rest of


Mark Baker
Senior Technical Writer
Stilo Corporation
1900 City Park Drive, Suite 504 , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1J 1A3
Phone: 613-745-4242, Fax: 613-745-5560
Email mbaker -at- ca -dot- stilo -dot- com

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Re: what to look for in a Tech Editor: From: Dick Margulis

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