Say who is this typing man?

I don't even know, people. They let anyone write on the internet nowadays.

Feb 12, 2010

Snow my god!

It's snowing. In our state. in our portion of our state. this is not a frequent event. Actually, it's sticking as i watch, which leads me to believe in global warming (apparently, it's not just for heat anymore!). So, seeing as how i don't particularly want to read over my linguistics stuff (even though i love it), and hell has apparently frozen over (see beginning statement), i thought i'd take the opportunity to update my rather lame blog.

So, editing stuff:

In my placement at Big City Magazine, i've learned a whole lot about being an editor of a magazine, which makes me want to be something else. Luckily my ultimate plan is to be a low-level copy editor in a publishing house, but we all know what happens to ultimate plans (sometimes you end up teaching Calculus or Music History with a blurred memory of the last 40 years and the vague notion that you thought you hated math or writing papers) so this is pretty sketchy.

Now, i love some aspects of being an editor - namely, the editing. Give me an article and tell me to fix it, and i'm both happy and entertained. A couple of stylistic choices i'm wary to make, and copy-editing for a magazine is interesting in that you have to keep in mind both word count and target audience (for instance, i found myself trying to find synonyms for "girly" almost desperately the other day... i cannot stand that stupid word when applied to anything other than a young female child. it's stupid and a step back in being taken seriously). Most of my issues come from being pretty young and not having confidence (like i do when i edit my classmates' and ensemble members' papers - i hack and slash those mofos) that whatever changes i make will sound okay.

An interesting side effect of this is that after i've changed stuff, it is incredibly frustrating to be proofing the final draft and see that none of my word changes were accepted, and some of my fixed misspells were also ignored (technically, handy work isn't a misspelled word, but it hasn't been used to mean handiwork since freaking Bible passages from the 1600s). I realize that the stylistic stuff especially is all subject to the editor's final decision, but it is irking to feel that my edits were basically thrown out the window. To be fair, they weren't and i need to get over myself, but still, that's what it feels like.

One of my copy editing jobs (the one that featured "handiwork") was fixing an article that an intern before me wrote on a little girl's mansion - er, playhouse. This experience taught me several things. One, i will never be able to write an article for this magazine (mainly 'cause i can't bring myself to care about anything that requires "girly" to be used in more than 6 places), and Two, citing resources is extremely important (EXTREMELY IMPORTANT). there were a couple places on the article where it references a builder or architect and then says "need more info," which, fine, i can understand. What was less peachy keen was the fact that none of the homeowner's information was written down, and the decorator (whom i was told to call to find the homeowner's number) had a phone number that did not work. So, i go back to Boss Lady and tell her that Intern of Editing Past didn't have the right number, and get the decorator's cell number (after digging through a bunch of old issue stuff). After calling the decorator, i find the other number didn't work because the area code was wrong. Anyway, i get the number for the owner to get the number for the builders, and she doesn't have numbers, so i have to call back again. after i get those numbers i have to call them and make sure that they're a) the right people and b) the right number for readers who want more information. All of this hassle leads me to one conclusion: CITING IS IMPORTANT.

my final thing (off my list of "don't forget to write about this 'cause you can use it for your project") is my feelings toward calling people who i do not know.

I don't like talking to people i do know on the phone. I'm not an auditory learner, and i have this unfortunate habit of tuning people out for indefinite periods of time when i can't focus on their lips or facial expressions. I communicate best through email or face-to-face meetings. When i call people with a vague message from Boss Lady, i inevitably panic and ramble and generally sound unprofessional. That part of being a magazine editor is one i could permanently do without. Listening to everyone putting on smarm for whomever they talk to is a level of fakery i'm aware is rampant in any job, but not something i want to do for a living.

meh, life.

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