Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Friday, 25 July 2008

The email I have always wanted to send

Is here

13 comments:

phyllis said...

Linda, I feel your pain.

I draft contracts for a living and I can’t tell you how many times an attorney will just need to "improve" a draft by adding a ton of idiotic language (1) that doesn’t change the deal, (2) doesn't address a legal issue, and (3) doesn’t add any value except to hold things up. This inevitably happens when the other party has outside counsel and the firm wants to rack up as many billable hours as possible.

Kelly said...

fantastic!

Toby Wollin said...

You are not kidding there, Linda.

mq, cb said...

Phyllis, since we're going way off topic, I am a lawyer and I also draft contracts for a living. I never add wording that doesn't address a legal issue or in some other way add value. Some of it might very well seem idiotic to you or to another lay person but then without a law degree or having practised as a lawyer in that field, how would you know whether it was justified? By the way, as I am not the client, it's not my job to change the deal but to record it faithfully and protect my client as much as possible. There; a statement that I have always wanted to write!

Back to Mr Coren whose email rantings are almost better than his columns, although the spoof Giles Coren Twitter feed that ran for about six hours yesterday was even better. However, I have to say that I have some sympathy for the subs. Either the joke wasn't very good or perhaps the dual meaning isn't well enough known, but if the subs didn't get it, why should they presume that anyone else would?

Anonymous said...

The Gaurdian really should have spell checked that, they spelled sentence wrong in the first bullted graph. It kind of took away from the diatribe about sentence structure to read, "Why would you change a sentnece aso that it meant something I didn't mean?" Was he just being ironic, or in a dead rush, or careless before he hit send?

Anonymous said...

I am a writer and a former newspaper editor, and while I agree with Mr Coren, I also think he is way over the top. So the sub editor made a mistake. Point it out, preferably with some humor, and cool it. A rant like this is the way to make sure that he will never be asked to write for that publication again.

phyllis said...

mq - I'm a legal professional too. I have a paralegal certificate from an ABA accreditd program and I've been doing this for over 10 years. I stand by my observation, and every in-house attorney I've ever worked with who who deals with outside counsel agrees with me.

I'd happy to take this off-line with you but your name tag has no link.

Sorry Linda, I'll stop now.

Rosaria said...

I'm a sub-editor/copy taster/writer and I think that mq, cb are quite right. Either the joke isn't well known enough, or the dual meaning isn't well known. Coren has gone right off his trolley. How precious of him.

I hope he won't be sent a copy of his reviews before they go to print. Allow it for one foot-stamping lunatic and you'll have them lining up.

Some columnists are untouchable icons, I'm aware of that, but they are very much in the minority and should remain so.

On the other hand, truely shitty subbing of my copy makes me just furious. If my byline is on the story, I take the rap. The anonymous sub-editor goes unscathed.

Sub-editors do need to be accountable, and they do need to be very literate.

It's an imperfect business, this.

Deja Pseu said...

Whether you get the joke or not, when "nosh" is used as a noun, it's always "a nosh." Perhaps the editor has never hung in cultures where Yiddish has made its way into local lexicon.

Rollergirl said...

Some of my journo pals and I regularly email each other with 'What I wrote, what they put' rants. The published results are often completely nonsensical. Agreed, if your byline is on the piece then you get the rap.

bonnie-ann black said...

i object to mr. coren's use of the "irish plasterer" as his example of shoddy work. seems he's not quite so sensitive about other things.

TheSundayBest said...

I love, love, LOVE that he mentions metre, that he treats his sentences with such care that he actually considers how they are read and not just the word order. More than anything he said about content that made his point - the editing ruined his style.

livia said...

I have this pinned on my office wall to remind me to have nothing to do with people like Giles Coren. He writes for a daily newspaper. That means the subeditors pull the whole thing together daily, no matter how close to the deadline the writers filed their copy and no matter how shitty the copy is when it arrives. Imagine how many stupid mistakes the subs pick up in a single day, and how much embarrassment they thereby save writers like Coren. Naturally the only time he notices their work is the one time in a thousand they make a mistake. So, no, not fantastic at all, unless incredible rudeness to dedicated professional people doing difficult and thankless work with extremely tight deadlines is fantastic.