Copy-editing’s future and failings: A roundup

It’s not just a roundup of stupid mistakes, though a few are in there. There’s also some discussion of the craft, where it’s headed, and why.

The case for education reform, proved in one billboard: In Indiana, the city of South Bend decided, we’ve got some great public schools. Let’s promote them with a big ol’ billboard. But let’s leave out the “l” in “public.” Yeah.

Copy-edit to social media’s desires: The brave new world on online copy editing, in a age of depleted and nonexistent copy-dedicated staffs, is one where (self-promotion) “we are all copy editors,” one where being SEO, Twitter and otherwise platform-friendly is nearly as essentially as spelling and reporting correctly. Style guides, however, are still considered essential. Who knew?

An accusation so serious “alleged” required 2 “D’s”: I’ll say it a million times:
What’s worse than making a mistake online is not fixing it.

We can all see the date is Friday, Sept. 24. But I did a screen grab on Sept. 27. C’mon.

No copy editing is “getting with the times”?: To be fair, this article on Forbes’ transformation (a little late, coming after Bloomberg Businessweek’s shocking overhaul) refers to many Forbes changes in saying the franchise is getting with the times. But one troubling aspect is this quote:

Many of these bloggers won’t have any background in reporting. Instead, Forbes is recruiting specialists to write on specific topics. And they won’t have a lot of immediate oversight. Forbes.com has gradually shifted to a blogging system in which contributors publish straight to the web, rather than going through copy editing.

The death of English?: Gene Weingarten is a nice man, I’m sure, and mildly amusing. And he cares deeply about copy editors, the lack of whom have been a major, underappreciated factor in The Washington Post’s almost-daily advancing decay. But his article “mourning” the death of the English language brought a more personal, serious reaction in other quarters.