Nice editing.

Every year, there is a page in my high school’s yearbook depicting fake or joke clubs.  During my senior year, my three best friends — Lisa, Alexa and Beth — and I, better known to the school and our town as The Brood, decided that we needed to be one of the fake clubs.

We got our picture taken and we were one of the three fake clubs featured on the page (along with the Breakfast Club and the Santarpio’s Club).  We needed a club description, so I volunteered to write it up.

The first two sentences:

“THE BROOD…scared yet?  Consisting of Lisa ‘I’m high on life’ L., Alexa ‘That’s crazy!’ M., Kate ‘Didn’t I meet you at the coed naked lawn-bowling party?’ McCulley and Beth ‘Don’t mess with Texas’ G., the Brood remains the most formidable foursome of fun fearless females in all of Reading High.”

It was perfect.

Was is the key word.  It was perfect until the editors massacred it.

Aside from changing remains to remians and changing individually to indivisually, each an egregious spelling error, they also changed my sentence structure.  The removed the comma after Beth’s last name and considered that to be a full sentence.

Yes, it’s a long sentence — but it’s not a run-on and it’s not grammatically incorrect.  Why change it?

This was probably one of the first times that I felt passionate about grammar.

I was the performing arts editor of my yearbook, a position given to me on a whim by the advisor, one of my all-time favorite teachers.  Although I had a LOT of fun adding pictures of the Brood to the drama club section wherever possible, after seeing the finished product, my heart ached.

I wistfully wished that I had been a copyeditor instead.  Oh, God, if only.

(Another thing they messed up: my family’s message to me became, “Kate, the years have flown by watching you blossom into a scintillating you woman.”  Young.)

I understand that responsibility of the yearbook falls on high school students.

But…not even a spell-check?


4 responses to “Nice editing.

  1. Alexa Moutevelis

    “The removed the comma” – Grammar Vandal needs to be vandalized!

    “Kate, the years have flown by watching you blossom into a scintillating you woman.” AHAHAHAHAHAHAAH

  2. Kate,

    Thought you’d enjoy this bit of hellish awesomeness:

    satin rules - bathroom graffiti


  3. This reminds me of a quote from “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”– “I can attest there is only one thing more mortifying thatn having an exclamation mark removed by and editor: an exclamation mark added in.”

  4. I feel your pain on this issue. I was the copy editor for the yearbook my senior year. I can’t even describe the trauma of going over the proofs. We put nicknames for everyone on the staff on the yearbook page; mine was “Grammar Nazi”(they actually called me this). I once had a nightmare involving commas.

    P.S.- We had a real Breakfast Club. I was the president 🙂

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