Things that, people who

United States
June 26, 2007 6:44pm CST
As an editor, how irritating is it to you when a writer doesn't understand that a company is an "it" instead of "they?" Or they give you sentences like, "The people that started the project," instead of "the people who started the project?" I could go on and on...but I thought I'd just mention the subject to determine how annoying it was to anyone else. Maybe I was blessed with a tutor who always told me "things that, people who."
2 people like this
3 responses
@sreevasu (2718)
• India
14 Jul 07
I am not an editor by profession, instead a graphic designer and word processor. And this sort of issues often comes to me while keying-in the text. I used to make corrections in the given text and will try to make the writers understand their mistakes. English is not my mother tongue. But I can understand good English, I cannot write, though.
• United States
18 Jul 07
Sounds to me as if you can write in English. As a matter of fact, the language you just used is better than some of the freelance writers I've dealt with. And, if no one at your workplace has said this, thank you for correcting the errors you see. Editors can't catch them all, and in many cases we get real numb once we're brow beaten to the point of submission...so a fresh outlook is always welcome, even if we're not often considerate enough to say it. I don't know what magazine you work on, or for whom, but thank you.
1 person likes this
@sreevasu (2718)
• India
18 Jul 07
Thank you for the comments. I am a not working with any company, but self-employed; work at home. lol
• United States
27 Jun 07
The one I am encountering lately is people who use the wrong word for the context--like "principal" vs. "principle." Even worse are the errors where they use a word, but it's completely the wrong word. Like they type "to" when they mean "the." Some writers are entirely too reliant on their spell checkers, and as long as the spell checker says it's okay, they think their work is all correct. Proofreading is an essential skill for writers to develop! But I suppose if all of the writers suddenly could proofread their own work, we editors would be out of a job!
• United States
27 Jun 07
No, editors wouldn't be out of a job. In fact, in the next generation, I envision an all-new breed of editor. Spell checkers are great, but most don't do anything to take care of to, too or two, its or it's, possessives, active passive, complete rambling, schizoid passages, tense....well, the list is endless as you know. Will software ever catch up? Nope. English is an art, and as such is fluid, changing. By the time the program comes out, things have moved. My degree is in engineering, so I won't be insulted if you take my comment to task. But there's so much that can be done in writing, including harnessing meter (and do I grind on my staff on that very subject). There's an art to good writing, even A.P.-style reporting, but the writers capable of understanding that fact and exploring the inner reaches of their creativity are too rare of a breed.
• United States
26 Jun 07
will i have to say it doesnt bother me any, but i guess with someone with your education it would.. the only thing you nedd to understand is what the person is talking about and not how the messed up.. try it sometime you might have more fun reply than critizining some one.. if you dont like the way i talk i feel sorry for you.. seems like you are going by the way someone says something and look for fault, than getting to know the person..
• United States
27 Jun 07
Holy cow, do you have eight grandkids???? If you do, that's wonderful. I have five. Actually, my note was a comment on allegely "professional" writers getting paid by magazines. They're supposed to know better (the writers, not the magazines). And you're exactly right--the only thing that matters is that you can understand what the person is trying to say. I may not be able to convince you of my firm belief, but I know for a fact that a person's intelligence isn't defined by their job, stature or education. I had the honor of talking to a grade school in Texas a year ago, and I told them something I was taught long before. The nuns in the Catholic school I was at, believe it or not, actually asked permission that they spread my little parable, which isn't even mine. I asked how many of their parents were doctors, and a lone girl held up her hand. Then I asked how many of their parents worked in a garage. Four hands came up. I then asked if, God forbid, your father had a heart attack which parent in the room was the "smartest" at that instant. All the kids agreed it was the doctor. Then I asked if the car stalled, engine went, or motor stalled, at that instant who was the most intelligent parent at that moment in time? All agreed, the mechanics. We're all equal in regard to smarts, at different points in time. You came across perfectly clear, and pointed out the deficiencies in my statements. So who's more educated/smarter between the two of us? Seems pretty obvious to me. If you have eight grandkids I'm jealous and I sure do hope you know how sincere this response is. My original note was a complaint about "professional" writers who can't come to grips with English, yet expect a lofty check for incorrect prose and the privilege of subjecting an unknowing public to the travesty. But you're right, I didn't couch things properly.