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Why everyone needs an editor

From The Washington Post:

About five or six years ago, I was working as a freelance copy editor for a publisher that specialized in medical and social science books. Usually, when a manuscript was ready, the editor would call me, and I would go pick up a floppy disk containing the text. One day, though, she called back to tell me to hold off. She said she still had “issues” to work out with the author of the project, a book on juvenile criminal justice.

A week or so later, she called to say the project was back on track. According to the editor, the problem had been that the author was sure his book was already “perfect.” After all, hadn’t his secretary proofread it and run it through the spell-checker? He didn’t want an outside copy editor mucking it up.

The editor had other ideas, though, and I did the project.

Good thing. I found — and corrected — at least 14 unintended references to “pubic policy.”

Muphen R. Whitney, Westminster, Md.

My boss at the Commercial Market Strategies project once sent an e-mail to our mass distribution list about a “pubic health forum” we were sponsoring. As the project pertained to reproductive health, however, her error wasn’t too egregious.

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