Well this afternoon I was surfing the blogger website for funny editing stories and I actually came across something scary. It was this article titled "Funny newspaper stories." Note that this is being reposted by the blogger, so they are not the offender. That honor apparently belongs to an individual named Giles Coren, who is clearly somebody that I never want to meet in person. Also note that this has some pretty graphic content, but we are all adults...I hope.
I never realized that editing could be such a high-stakes business, but this is the second instance that I have been exposed to this semester of an individual going absolutely ballistic over what seems like a trivial editing issue. Those of you currently enrolled in news editing with me at the university will remember our first out of class assignment for lecture, but for those who read this outside of our little editing community (so basically Ryan and my girlfriend), here is a link to that tirade. After these examples all I have to say is that editors have it a lot tougher than I would have given them credit for.
Also, and this was my favorite part of that letter, look at the writer's second reason for why the editor who changed his final sentence was a complete failure (to put it mildly). Now this letter is being posted by a third party on their blog, so I'm not sure if the error is the original ranter's or that of the blogger. But the letter's entire argument centers around accuracy and how even the slightest change can completely change the meaning of a sentence. Well, this paragraph had the word "bear" where I am pretty sure it is supposed to be "beard". And if you go and read the letter, I'm also pretty sure that you'll agree that change makes quite a big difference as well!