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!