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How to make a copy editor laugh

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WolvEagle, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    Edited this gem today from a story about two running events that will be part of a community festival:

    For more information on the runs, call (phone number).
    A couple years ago while writing about a police incident, the reporter said that someone was driving a miniature van.
  2. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    "Sorry, but that story budgeted for 12 inches? It's wound up a lot longer than that."
  3. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    I hear that at least once every deadline day, and we have three editions a week. Our managing editor has come to expect it.
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    The editor told me to write as long as I wanted, we have plenty of space.
  5. nietsroob17

    nietsroob17 Well-Known Member

    We had a story, a Q&A with a local school board candidate, that jumped from 1B to 2B...to 3B...to 6B before it was finally said and done. Can Tuesday get here soon enough so this guy can get soundly beaten in the voting booths?
  6. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Ran into this a lot when I worked for a weekly that would run statements from each candidate for office. Finally had to put a word limit on 'em.
  7. WBarnhouse

    WBarnhouse Member

    Two great copy editing stories:

    When he was with the Dallas Morning News, Mark Blaudschun covered an OU football game and his lead was something like: "Oklahoma, where the wins come sweepin' down the plains." Copy editor adhered to style and changed "wins" to "victories."

    Myself, I was writing a Final Four preview/regional wrapup package in 1995. Mississippi State was going to play Syracuse in Final Four semifinals. Jackie Sherrill, then Miss State FB coach, had castrated a cow to inspire his team when it played Texas. I wrote something like, "No word if Jackie Sherrill will pump up the football team by castrating an orange." Argued with an editor for 5 minutes because he reasoned that "you can't castrate an orange."
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    "But I can castrate you, you anal retentive asshole."

    I trust your comeback was something along those lines.
  9. WBarnhouse

    WBarnhouse Member

    Wish I had thought of that but I think the argument was more along the lines of me trying to explain the difference between figurative and literal. Probably only took a coupla months off the end of my life, no big deal.
  10. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Well played.
  11. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    The way I heard it, he performed a hysterectomy on a bull.
  12. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Yeah, the bain of my existence.
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