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Subject:QUERY: Anyone recognize this passage? From:Doug Montalbano <Doug_Montalbano -at- CC -dot- CHIRON -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 3 Apr 1998 09:24:40 -0800
I posted this message to the Copyediting List as well. Ignore it if
you've seen it already.
I found a rather lengthy quote that I would like to use in training
sessions. Unfortunately, I don't know the provenance of this quote.
Does anyone know the name of the author? I want to ask permission to
As an editor, your job is to improve the clarity, accuracy,
effectiveness and consistency of any manuscript lacking in these
qualities. It is not your responsibility to make changes for their own
sake, or because of personal preferences (or prejudices). Furthermore,
you must not change the original language in such a way as to change
the intent of the writer.
You will be called upon to make some of the following types of
changes, depending upon editing level required.
1. Correct typos, misspellings and punctuation errors
2. Correct grammatical errors
3. Establish consistency using the agency or firm style guide
(headings, caps, compounding, numbers, cross references, punctuation,
indentation, bibliographies, lists, tables, footnotes, spelling,
4. Improve material that is confusing, awkward, or unnecessarily
5. Check the manuscript's completeness (illustrations, graphics,
appendixes, tables of contents)
6. Check the accuracy of headings, titles, captions, pagination,
footnotes, cross references, math
7. Query or correct inaccurate or inconsistent information
(particularly inconsistencies between tables and text)
8. Request additional supporting facts, or supply them if you have the
9. Reorganize to improve effectiveness
10. Supply transitions to improve coherence
11. Improve precision of word choice
12. Improve message tone
13. Edit for sentence variety and vigor
14. Eliminate overuse of jargon, abbreviations, acronyms, or other
technical shoptalk or shorthand
15. Clarify the focus and emphasis
An editor is rarely able to edit for all of these concerns in one
edit. Thus, if you are responsible for a variety of mechanical and
substantive concerns, you should edit the manuscript at least twice:
first for content, clarity and precision of meaning; a second time for
conciseness of expression and mechanics.
The most important thing to develop as an editor is a skeptical
stance; verify anything which raises doubts.
If, when editing a colleague's work, you keep these tenets in mind,
your job should be made easier.
------------------- end quoted passage --------------------