Lament for copy editors

I couldn’t resist. I saw this at LanguageHat, and had to pass it along.

Apparently Lawrence Downes, of the NY Times, visited the Newseum in D.C. and noticed it held no mention of the “lowly buy exalted copy editor.” Gasp! What followed is his elegy for all task’s practitioners.

It’s a quick, short piece — go read it. I’ll wait.

OK, then. Thank you.

The writer knows the importance of copy editors; he used to be one. Well, so did I. He apparently thinks the job is on the way out, or at least those remaining practitioners will be very few, “artisanal.” His point is that there isn’t really a place for copy editing in online newspapering, where the goal is to get something up, fast, faster than the other guy.

LanguageHat, for his part, says he’ll notice when copy editors disappear. To that, I say thank you. I certainly would. (I’m not ready to concede that all copy editors are going to be out of a job any time soon.)

Editor’s Note: I did notice something a copy editor should have fixed in the article: multiply instead of multiple in the third paragraph from the bottom.)


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