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Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse


In Case Anyone Worries... @ 01:25 pm


I went through my comments/replies to the copy editor and made SURE they weren't snarky. These days at my publisher the comments are all using Word's track changes features and are electronic. They used to come in paper, and were far easier, IMHO, to just shrug off and make corrections or not. But with the ease of a click I can fire back a pretty snarky comeback.

I held back. Where I couldn't, I allowed myself a rant and then made sure to change it to a simple "stet" or "OK" on my next pass through. Oh... but it was difficult to restrain myself on a couple of points. I understand people get bad matches, these things happen, but I actually had to respond regarding my use of "Spidey Sense". S/he asked: "I don't understand the referrence. Why is 'Spidey' capitalized?"

Erm, in reference to proper noun, "Spider-Man". (Note, I TOTALLY RESISTED adding "D'uh!!!!")

Which, frankly, I think was pretty damn big of me.

Because, you know, there were a couple of things where I realized that maybe my language could stand clarity, even if it meant sacrificing voice. As naomikritzer pointed out yesterday when I ranted a bit about this at the coffee shop, "there are people who would be fine without a copy editor, but you, Lyda, are not one of them."

So true.

My dyslexia prevents me from noticing a lot of my atrocious misspellings, not to mention the fact that sometimes, I just plain misuse words. I have my moments of malapropism. And my gasp of English grammer is often, shall we say, quirky at best. I am inordinately fond of the comma and the paraenthtical phrase. I drop verbs and nouns when I'm writing fast, too. So, really, it's no joke. I NEED a copy editor.

I'm a funny sort of writer that way, I think. I'm nobody's grammar snob, yet there are parts of the English language that make me giddy. I get wound up about the plural of octopus. (Yes, "octopi" is in many dictonaries under "usage" heading, but octupuses is most correct, dang it! Really, listen to it. It actually sounds better.) But most of the time I never use "lay" and/or "lie" correctly. I couldn't tell you for certain if English has a pluperferct verb form, though I suspect we do. Yet I never forget to capitalize English, and my resume has accents on both "e"s and tells you that I majored in history and English. It is known in some local writing circles that I once nearly got in a fist fight (and lost a friendship) over, yes, verbs.

Most of that stuff, however, I leave to the experts, like the copy editor.

I *will* fight passionately over the things like characters and plots and politics. Anyone who has sat next to me on a media panel knows that I take Star Wars, Captain America, and Battlestar Galatica so seriously I may seem a bit deranged at times. Because in the end, I consider those things an extension of my job, my vocation, my calling. Other writers wrote those things and, thus, I feel perfectly comfortable critiquing them with colleagate passion and righteousness.

Anyway, I need to go stuff folders at Mason's school right now, and get ready to take up the good fight at Wyrdsmiths tonight.
 

Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse