Why Editors?

In October 2008, the New York Times published an article about the cooperation and training of US astronauts and Russian cosmonauts at the Russian facility in Звёздный городо́к for lengthy deployments aboard the International Space Station. The article featured this image:

New York Times - Oops!

Obviously, Star City has changed over the years—accommodations for staff, and especially for popular cosmonauts, was significantly better during the days of the Soviet Union than for most of the populace. However, the photo implies even better conditions today.

Which of these two is the US astronaut and which is the Russian cosmonaut? In any case, it would seem that NASA, at least, is looking for and training a newer, younger generation of space explorers.

Perhaps the article did not receive the help of an editor. Seriously.

Editing is Essential to your Message!

Okay, so your organization is neither the New York Times nor a member of the Fourth Estate at all. Is editing essential to you? Consider this ad:

Editor needed

I think good editing is critical to your message. But, is there a cheaper alternative?

The Cavalry are here, coming in over the keyboard: Can Spellchecker Save Us?

Consider this poetic parody:

Candidate for a Pullet Surprise
I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.
Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.
Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped word's fare as hear.
Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it's weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.
Bee fore a veiling checker's
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if we're lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.
To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw's are knot aloud.
A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when eye rime.
Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know fault's with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.
Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.

Compliments to Jerrold H. Zar of Northern Illinois University, who published this in the Journal of Irreproducible Results  (January-February 1994).

Yes, there are limits to the efficiency that you can realize by using the spell checker in your word processing application. How many errors get past everyone on a monthly basis?


A good technical editor is a great asset to you and your company.