Everyone needs an editor

If your first sentence in your first paragraph contains these errors, shouldn’t you think about hanging up your keyboard?

way 1

If you don’t know the difference between a contraction (like you’re) and a possessive pronoun (like your), you don’t know enough to hyphenate a compound modifier (like Oscar-winning), you match a hyphen (which should be an em-dash) with a comma (which also should be an em-dash), you omit words, you hyphenate seaside, and you can’t spell Steve Carell, should you call it quits?

Not if you’re a writer for Yahoo! Movies. And not if you’ve been writing for years for well-respected publications like The New York Times Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, More, Interview Magazine, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Cosmopolitan and Self. Those are publications with standards higher that Yahoo!’s. You’d never find that many egregious mistakes in an entire article, much less an opening paragraph. What gives?

Editors.

A writer for print publications is used to the support of competent editors. At Yahoo!, this writer’s words are published — gross mistakes and all — without benefit of editing.

That paragraph isn’t an anomaly. The article continues with a total miss at AnnaSophia Robb and 14-year-old:

way 2

There’s the reality nit-picky double double-quotes and the typoed tween:

way 3

And to prove that this so-called movie critic has no idea that she doesn’t know how to spell Steve Carell’s name, she screws it up three more times here:

way 4

and here:

way 5

and here:

way 6

Would you expect to see something of this quality in a legitimate news source or magazine? No, because those publications employ editors. And this writer is obviously dependent on them.

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7 Responses to “Everyone needs an editor”

  1. Jae Says:

    Yes, yes, and yes. Editors are extremely valuable to writers. I hope people are taking note. I certainly agree.

    • Laura Says:

      I don’t think readers recognize the contributions of an editor until they see a writer’s work BEFORE it’s edited. Even professional writers — like the author of this article — need editors.

      • Jae Says:

        I think having beta readers taught me how valuable another pair of eyes are—and then realizing someone who does it professionally would polish it that much more. Go editors!

  2. authorangelachristinaarcher Says:

    In this past week, I’ve had two friends tell me about two separate self published books they’ve read with errors and Editor could have prevented. One misspelled her own characters name (sometimes it was Sara and other times it was Sarah) and changed her car from a Grand Prix to a Grand Am. The other one had sentences like “my face turned read with anger.” Why do people think they don’t need another eye?

    • Laura Says:

      Maybe they don’t think it matters. Maybe our standards have been lowered so much that writers don’t care and they think readers don’t care. (In truth, a lot of readers don’t care about misspellings, typos, etc — even if they could recognize them.) Those of us who care about the quality of our writing may be dinosaurs.

      • authorangelachristinaarcher Says:

        Maybe we are. Honestly, a small part of me is saddened by that. Not that I think we should all expect perfection, but at the very least pride in work and the strive to make it good. Oh well. I guess you can count me a dinosaur! lol.


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