Saturday, 15 August 2009

Grammar Nazi

Editing, I discovered a long time ago, is, as the cliché goes, a bit like painting the Forth Bridge. It’s a process that is never done. One of the chapters in the book went through over 50 drafts. And even after I have been through all of Trevor’s comments, there are still several more to go.

I receive a mail from Trevor telling me that the copy editor will get in touch. The copy editor is the person who checks for inconsistencies, and poor sentence construction. A friend in my writing group has always referred to copy editors as ‘Grammar Nazis’. I again brace myself for trench warfare, fighting to keep the book as it is, paragraph by paragraph.

The Grammar Nazi turns out to be a charming chap called Hugh. He asks me some very reasonable questions and makes very few changes. He even tells me how much he enjoyed the book.