El Coyote Gordo (supergee) wrote,
El Coyote Gordo

The old retired copy-editor recalls

I remember a copy-editing assignment a while back: a Mafia novel by a writer who claimed to have been an actual mob guy. He later turned out not to be, and the publisher sued him because the novel really was a work of fiction, rather than the thinly disguised memoir it read like. I didn’t catch him, and I don’t know if that’s a copy-editor’s job, but I claim some credit for querying a point where his terminology differed from Mario Puzo’s. Curiously enough, my next assignment was attributed to the other big Italian multinational: The Personal Prayers of Pope John Paul II. That one appears to have been legit.

I once copy-edited an article about a woman who'd had an affair with her supervisor and then sued him for sexual harassment. The article as written went on to say that she had asked to be placed under another supervisor. I managed to suggest the phrase "assigned to," rather than saying, "Now that's laziness."

I was proofreading social science books, a job that offered the spiritual benefits of exposure to political views I don't share, and paid me for it as well. There was a Marxist history of economics, a communalist tract that made me think of my other gig (resistance is futile; prepare to be assimilated), and a book on the wonders of primitivism. It wasn't all from the Left, though. An earlier assignment was so enthusiastic about "entrepreneurs" I expected the About the Author to include, "has been granted the privilege of fellating several business leaders."
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