A pedant writes

I’ve been doing a lot of editing recently – it’s annual report season and the hills are alive with the sound of management-speak being committed to paper.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m very glad of the work.  And I do appreciate that great managers aren’t necessarily good writers too.  But in the interests of the English language and my own sanity, can I request that the person who wrote “we are fully committed to embedding and mainstreaming equality and diversity in all our management processes” is sent to the corner wearing a  very large dunce’s cap and left to contemplate the error of his ways (or her ways – I am, of course,  fully committed to…)

A pox on embedding and mainstreaming; on the random use of transparent, robust and sustainable to make simple things sound grander than they need to be; on  capturing learnings and sharing them at learning events; on the direction of travel and ongoing commitment and outcome focused engagement activity.

This whole editing process  reminds me of skills I used to take  pride in, which are now about as useful  as knowing how to ride a pennyfarthing or where to apply the leeches to cure dropsy. I used to be  able to lay out a page of newsprint, using a series of  mathematical formulae which told the printer exactly where and at what size to place the words and pictures.  I knew how to put together documents for print by cutting in alterations from a block of set type with a scalpel.  I could correct a proof using the right set of editor’s marks.  (Yes I know.  I’m older than God) .

Now editing and proofing is an entirely on-screen process which is infinitely easier and much less satisfying than it used to be.   Who knew you could feel nostalgic for the feel of printers’ proofs?

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One response to “A pedant writes

  1. If someone calls you a pedant for these things, you should wear that as a badge of professional pride.

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