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One of my pet peeves is rearing its head on the desk, again

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Oggiedoggie, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    Cackling copy editor

    Can't just find and fix errors in copy. Nope, gotta announce them to the whole room.

    Really need to talk about it? Call the reporter.

    Finding a mistake isn't laying an egg. No need to cackle.

    (Yes, there are some bad grammar and sentence fragments in this post. I'm trying to build plausible deniability in case someone on our desk reads this and starts cackling.)
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

  3. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Do the same to the copy editor, see how he/she likes it. Hell, circle them in red and tack the page to the bulletin board.
  4. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I've never worked on a desk in which this wasn't SOP.

    Just saying.

    Plus, most writers if they find an error in their story will quickly throw a tantrum in front of the whole office. And theirs comes during the daytime hours, not when there is a skeleton crew at night.
  5. Bump_Wills

    Bump_Wills Member

    It's annoying, no doubt. I've worked on a couple of desks with shameless chest-beaters.

    I'll say this, however: I quietly keep track of my big catches, the ones that save the paper from major embarrassment. And I make sure my bosses know about them. In an environment where copy editing is being devalued by news organizations big and small, if I don't make the case for my worth, who will?
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Me too.
  7. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    I've never known a writer to do this ... unless the desk actually INTRODUCES an error into copy.

    I don't know many that will berate a copy editor simply for failing to catch an error the writer made in the first place.

    At any rate, I'm not a big fan of publicly calling out anybody. There are more discreet ways of handling such things. Email and such.
  8. Mitch E.

    Mitch E. Member

    Discussion on the desk can be good though. We've 'cackled' a bit, had a discussion about it, and every once in a while passed out some good advice to rookies. If you make all your changes in silence you'll never get on the same page, so to speak, as your fellow deskers.

    However, there is a line you can cross, which I'm sure is what the original poster was talking about.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Discussing is great. Delighting in regaling the room with typos by writers is a bit much. Especially when other writers are across the room wondering if they get shit on when they aren't there.
  10. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    So you're saying it's wrong to jump up on a desk, point at the offending writer, and start a healthy "You fucked up! You fucked up!" chant, followed by all of the copy editors doing a victory dance in the middle of the newsroom like the '82 Redskins?
  11. MacDaddy

    MacDaddy Active Member

    Even more fun is the slot editor who takes great pleasure in finding things the desk didn't catch. Of course, if I caught as few errors as our slot editor does, I'd be boasting about the ones I found, too.
  12. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    There's a mighty thick line between discussion and squawking.

    ("Bawk! Bawk! So, now you're saying 'squawking.' Earlier, you said 'cackling.' Which is it? Inconsistency! Bawk!")
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