The Good Launch

Two of my favorite people are the Underground Grammarian and the Subversive Copyeditor. They both speak truths plainly and without fear. It has been a while since I have read for pleasure with a pen in my hand.

But, while the Underground Grammarian can be derisive and discursive, the Subversive Copyeditor cuts straight through to the matter with diplomacy. In fact, chapter 2, “The Good Launch,” is a bit of a primer on tact and gaining the trust of the writer. She presents the “three virtues of the enlightened editor,” walks us through first contact, and then enumerates “six habits to cultivate—now.”

Saller also talks about making “silent changes” when tracking changes—omitting global changes from tracking and notifying the writer in a note at the first instance. It’s also very practical for when deleting spaces, removing hyphens, and making other visually confusing annotations. More on this can be found in CMOS itself at §2.85.

If you find editing in the least bit interesting, go out and get this book—now.