Professional idiot

Subject: Professional idiot
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 1997 09:23:03 -0600

Elaine Firestone explained the role of substantive editing
(as opposed to typo slaying and grammar tweaking): <<If I
may quote a fellow Copyediting-L memberer (is it you
Geoff?) "I'm a professional idiot. I'm paid to
misunderstand what you write.">>

Right source, incomplete quote. My full aphorism is "What
do I do for a living? I'm a professional idiot... I'm paid
to misunderstand what you've written--and fix it--before
your readers stumble over the problem." It's a great line
at a party, or to an SME you want to put at ease, but I've
somehow managed to resist the temptation to put it on my
business card or resume. Probably wouldn't produce the
desired effect...

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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