Re. Merits of an editor

Subject: Re. Merits of an editor
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 09:28:23 LCL

Sorry, hit the send key by mistake before finishing my
previous posting. Another note on why an editor will be
useful in addition to a peer review group:

Not being part of the writing process, editors have the
distance required to see problems in writing. The most
common problem is overfamiliarity: everyone knows what the
author is talking about because they're intimately familiar
with the subject, being immersed in it every day. It's
almost impossible to edit your own writing for this reason.
The editor isn't as familiar with the subject, and thus can
stand in the place of the eventual readers. I call this
"being a professional idiot": even if you do eventually
learn as much about the subject as the authors, some
readers won't have this skill; thus, your goal is to
misunderstand even things that you can figure out with a
bit of effort (and fix the problem) before readers must do

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of our
reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.

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