Saturday, September 18, 2010

Social Editing

I am a social editor. No, that does not mean that I edit people's words as they speak them. No, that does not mean that I edit societal sayings. It means that I edit out loud.

One of my first editing professors instructed me to question every comma to make sure that it actually belongs where it is. I took this to heart.

Yesterday at work:

"Hello, Mr. Comma," I said. Commas are almost always male.

"Hey, dude," he replied.

"What are you doing there?" I made my voice deep and scary, like a serial killer's voice.


So I axed him. It was bloody, I'll admit, but it felt so good to get rid of him. I was like a bloodthirsty exterminator on the prowl. If a comma couldn't explain why he was there, my red pen swung down on him.

I approached my next potential prey.

"Hello, Mr. Comma."

"Greetings!" My spirits fell a little. This comma was pretty polite. It would be harder to exterminate him.

"What are you doing there?"

"Well, I'm connecting two complete but related sentences with my friend, here, Mr. And."

"Oh," I said. I blinked.

"Yes, well, sorry to disappoint you, but I do believe we belong here."

"Yes." I lowered my pen with great sorrow. "Nice to meet you, Mr. And."

"Carry on."

At this point, my boss turned around. "Who are you talking to?"

A hundred misplaced commas giggled on the page. They can be so stupid. I smiled and said, "I'm talking to my victims." And the giggling stopped.

1 comment:

alee said...

Toni, I love reading your writing...not only because it is great writing full of wit, but because it makes me laugh and miss you :)