Re: Editorial Latitude

Subject: Re: Editorial Latitude
From: Buck & Tilly Buchanan <writer -at- DHC -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 19:04:27 -0500

I'm sorry that one of the subscribers belittled you by suggesting it was
your first article.

Whether it's our first or our 100th article that gets butchered enough
to cause embarrassment makes no difference in the way we feel.

As I've said to my creative writing group, "I can't think of anything
more embarrassing than having a misspelled word or inaccuracy that's my
fault reach publication. But when it's not my fault, it's even more
ignominious. Not knowing is one thing, but knowing and having your
friends think you don't know is far worse." Typos don't qualify in this
discussion--the keyboard gets the blame for that.

My own worst experience was in an article for Air Force Times. In my
bio for the editor I told about traveling to jobs throughout the country
in my motor home. He changed it to a mobile home. For those who don't
know: a mobile home is not mobile at all. In Texas they're required to
have a dozen or so anchors planted three feet in the ground. Doesn't
matter; it's still a tornado magnet.

I didn't protest that error, nor have I ever protested an editors
"harmless" mistake. Those who knew me, knew the truth; those who didn't
couldn't care less (the same editor probably would have changed that one
to "could care less"). A $500 check for the ms. made my embarrassment
seem less important. And unless it's an error that generates letters to
the editor, writing your own letter to that forum only calls attention
to the mistake. The readers have already forgotten it.

It's sort of like Tilly's remark that I shouldn't tell anyone my
troubles. Ninety percent don't give a hoot; the other ten are glad it

If you eat alone, there's no one there to do the heimlich!

Buck Buchanan
writer -at- dhc -dot- net
Arlington, TX

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