A Christmas wish list for editors

We keepers of the editorial flame don’t want much—though fewer comma splices and run-on sentences would be nice. A grammar-themed mug would be icing on the gingerbread house.

An editor's Christmas wish list

Hi, Santa.

It’s us, the bedraggled, vilified, underappreciated, stressed and yet sanguine editors of the world. We know you have a hard deadline approaching, so we’ll keep it brief.

Here’s what we’d like for the holidays this year:

  • Cleaner copy
  • Snappier headlines
  • Tighter sentences throughout the land
  • For “ask” and “spend” to be used as verbs, not nouns
  • Fewer PR pitches for “game-changing” hair products
  • About one-third fewer words in every piece that hits our desktops
  • A sharp reduction in the incidence of “impactful,” “a myriad of” and “comprised of”
  • For the folks at Merriam-Webster to get lumps of coal in their stockings for sanctioning the likes of “adorbs,” “rando” and “guac” (and something nice for choosing “justice” as the Word of the Year)
  • A new mug—preferably emblazoned with a snarky grammar pun
  • An evisceration of red pens (This is the scientific term for a group of red pens found in the wild.)
  • For local newspapers to make a miraculous comeback
  • A digital AP Stylebook subscription
  • For this typo never to befall any of us
  • For all those “thought leaders taking the enterprise to the next level” to eat stale fruitcake (Is there any other kind?)
  • Full, coherent sentences
  • For all the writers and communicators in our lives to be refreshed and empowered through exceptional training, consulting and events
  • An entire year devoid of the word “influencer”
  • Greater investment in editorial excellence
  • No less than a 75 percent reduction in “clapping back”—both in language and in online exchanges
  • Proper pronoun/antecedent alignment
  • More appreciation from honchos around the world for the bottom-line benefits of high, unyielding editorial standards
  • A showering of blessings and fine cheeses upon staff writers who make our jobs a delight
  • Noun/verb agreement
  • A dramatic reduction in newsroom layoffs
  • Fewer comma splices, gratuitous exclamation points, run-on sentences and false series
  • For the chasm of mistrust that cleaves the warring worlds of PR and journalism to become more of a manageable gap of grudging mutual respect
  • Ragan staff writer Russell Working would like: “The singular ‘they.’ Santa, please take this lump of coal with you when you leave, and drop it in the Kilauea volcano cauldron during your overfly of Hawaii.” He adds: “Also, please let us start more sentences with ‘and’ and ‘but.’ ” [Editor’s note: Santa, please ignore this request. That’s what fiction is for.]
  • More spicy, irresistible leads that hook readers immediately
  • For more companies to abandon boring, lifeless corporate writing and take the plunge into brand journalism storytelling
  • Worldwide acknowledgment that “pivoting to video” was a terrible idea
  • Some sort of inspirational print rebirth
  • For editing copy, trimming word counts and condensing corporate claptrap to become more popular than Instagram in 2019
  • A more peaceful, sane and safe world in which to live and work
  • Oh, and a pony

That should do it. Thanks, big guy.

Sincerely,

The editors

COMMENT

One Response to “A Christmas wish list for editors”

    Writer says:

    Great ideas! I have been following your blog for a long time and I consider it very useful and informative, I even advised it to my friends and, I confess honestly, even borrowed some ideas, but I also would really like to write some article for you in return. I work as a professional writer on an educational blog and I have a good e[perience in this area, be sure.

Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.