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?


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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