Reader's Notes - The Lost Art of Editing

Alex Clark has a wonderful article in today's UK Guardian about the apparently lost -- or vanishing -- art of editing.  Having done some manuscript editing myself -- and spent 20 years editing (not correcting! not grading!) student essays, poetry, and narratives -- I will admit that it's not the most enjoyable work, not for me.  With the decline of certain types of reading and the rise of word-processing tools to check spelling and grammar and enhance diction and style, some writers develop a false sense of their own mastery of language.  All the "performance enhancing devices" produce prose that is superficially correct but often filled with inconsistencies in reasoning, lacking a strong active voice, and somehow drained of personality.  As to the wider world of journalism and publishing, the demands of the market more often trump the need for good sourcing and fact-checking, clear expression, and stylish prose.  What has happened, indeed, to the art of editing?

PN Feedburner | PN iTunes | PN Twitter | PN Facebook | PN Video | PN Goodreads | PN Tumblr

No comments: