A Few Minutes with an Editor: An Occasional Series by Dispatches from Wordnerdia

Very, VERY occasionally, someone will ask me what an editor does all day. Very, VERY often, the answer is so far from their personal conception of “things I could stand to do for even one second” they get this expression as if I had told them I sit around playing Stabscotch all day: “Why on Earth would you do that to yourself?”

<digression> Interesting Idioms! A common idiom in Mexico for an activity that is painful and unrewarding — somewhat like “banging [my] head against a brick wall” — is “pulling out [my] eyelashes just to burn them.” Ten points to anyone who posts the Spanish translation in the comments. </digression>

Of course, some people think the world of editors, and say so! “Really? Wow. Editors are magic.” (Yes, that is a direct quote.)

But I’d say most people are in the first group, and it is for their entertainment that I would like to share a few moments, now and then, from my actual work. For example:


Today, I spent a GREAT DEAL OF TIME searching for the names of ancient Gaulish tribes. Why? Because (fun fact!) there are about a hundred possible misspellings of each tribal name — not to mention allowable variants because of course they’re all in GAULISH* — and they are ALL in this manuscript.


*OK, fine, “Gallic” is the more common name, but “Gaulish” is funnier. It’s an allowable variant!



Filed under Extra! Extra!

2 responses to “A Few Minutes with an Editor: An Occasional Series by Dispatches from Wordnerdia

  1. Please tell me that Asterix, Obelix, and Hereendeththelesson are in your MS.

  2. dbancroft

    No, but I do have Orgetorix if that helps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s