Monday, February 22, 2010

Erm all right

So the Lady Jane won't even get up to 110 on Stein Rd. But I'm always tired in the eyes, so I blink and my wheels are in the dirt, and I wake up sharply.

And she's saying, we need to take the editing up a level.
And I'm a bit wtf, I am going to need to see these errors your daughter thinks I made.

So she's like, this, this and this, they're all things the client will get arsey about. And I'm like, yeah okay, but these are disimprovements to the copy, so we're not really going up a level. Maybe sideways.

You know, wtf. If you want to hire some person because she's a friend of your daughter's and you want to show off your munificence some, stiffing me on the work you promised me, don't bullshit me about her background in "instructional design". I see her work. I know what kind of writer she is.

So I'm listening to her criticise my handling of abbreviations, and I'm like, no, do you not remember, we had an exchange of emails about abbreviations. I followed what you asked for to the letter. The rug. Whoosh. She knows I do that. And she knows I have the email.

So that brings the meeting to a smart ending, and that's good because this is the kind of meeting where she says, we're just having a discussion, and I say, no, in a discussion both people talk.

Here's a thing for you grammar fiends. She goes:

"Whether a person is eligible depends on his or her service"

is difficult to understand and learners would have to read it five times. It's "instructional design", she says. She wants:

"A person's eligibility depends on his or her service"

which has a slightly different meaning, so no editor is ever substituting it. So I'm like, yeah but I have studied textual analysis and in fact sentences with nouns are less comprehensible than sentences with verbs. Which is true but she goes, you're more difficult to meet with in person than you are in email.

I'd say I'm about the same. I'm polite but I'm a professional. I do it pretty straight up. She prefers a yes man, but editors bow to style guides not position titles. Hard to understand? Her course writer will not write an active sentence if there is any way known to man to make it passive. She doesn't read over her work even once, as a professional would, and sometimes writes things that so badly need a verb, they wake up in the night crying for it.

But that's her problem. Mine is to have to imagine an alternative to erm all right, so that that doesn't seem like the only thing I ever have to say.


At 1:03 pm, Anonymous Ms. Wonder said...

Awwww, those poor sentences waking up crying :( Just don't look my way for those verbs, I have my own passive issues LOL

And you might want to try "erm F*it" for some variety. Oh wait, she's paying you. How about "erm I'll consider it"....

At 6:30 pm, Blogger Looney said...

Love it -

I have a terrible tendency to write in the passive voice. And if you think it's bad for prose, you ought to see it in a screenplay.


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