Way-Back Wednesday: A Blast from My College Past

I was recently looking for something in a desktop folder that contains all kinds of files, and I happened across some of my college papers from my journalism classes. As you might guess, I adored all the writing and editing I got to do in them. What I’m posting below is an assignment I turned in (no stealing!) about my take on the importance of editing with regard to communicating. I’m not presenting it as a thing of beauty (I was still trying to find my style) but as more of a glimpse of the type of person I’ve been for a long time.

Editing: Quintessential in Communications

“I want to talk good and write good so I can do good and express what’s in my head.” Sure, that person has a lot of work to do, but he has the right attitude. To know the differences between “good” and “well” as well as “that” and “which” is an important task to achieve.

Recently I had a nightmare that an article I poured my heart and soul into got rejected by the city newspaper because I had made several inexcusable grammatical and punctuation errors. (The horror!) I have a goal: excellence. I want to be the best editor and writer I can be, in whichever field I choose, and inspire others to improve their language and writing skills. (I aim high, I know.)

Precision in language is of the utmost importance—at least, it should be. Reading an article and realizing that it comes across as something entirely different from what the writer probably intended is humorous at first, then tiresome, as it’s a never-ending cycle. People love to express themselves but often make simple mistakes that can alter their meanings. This must be stopped. Lovers of language should unite to politely inform those with blind eyes (figuratively) of their wrongdoings: inexcusable errors! Corrections would be made in masses, and expression would once again be smooth. “To,” “two,” and “too” could finally be universally understood. How glorious!

If only I could write about editing and communications all day . . . Alas, there’s much work to be done in the world. Many mistakes still need to be fixed, and most Wal-Mart customers still think that the “10 items or less” signs are correct. Language lovers and future editors should always carry permanent markers or corrective ink, whether figurative or literal, in case of editing emergencies. Maybe our fire for proper language and grammar usage will catch on. Right now there are several commas waiting for me to replace them with semicolons. An editor’s job is never over.

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