It's great to be an editor

September 13, 2012|By John E. McIntyre | The Baltimore Sun

When you are an editor ...

You know the rules, and you know when it is right to flout them.

You get to sit on your ass all day. Or, in Katharine O'Moore-Klopf's case, standing at your desk. At any rate, not meeting the public, or running around trying to dislodge information from the inarticulate and the hostile. 

You get to spend time rummaging about in reference books or consulting the OED, which is more fun than working. 

You can often figure out what the writer is trying to say better than he can. 

You do not have to smile at people.*

You are not agitated by vulgar desire for public recognition. 

You can be pals with people like Carol Saller

You can swear. And you will. 

You can claim kin with linguists and lexicographers. You know, literate people. 

You regularly experience the quiet glow of identifying other people's mistakes. 

You end the work day knowing that you have established order where it was previously lacking. 

*This is why, when your publication decides to go bare and drops you at the curb, you should think twice before applying for work as a Walmart greeter. 

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