An editor’s Christmas wish list

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”
  • 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
  • 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 2020
  • A more peaceful, sane and safe world in which to live and work
  • Oh, and a pony

That should do it. Thanks, big guy.


The editors

This post originally ran in 2018, but our demands remain steadfast in this new year.


4 Responses to “An editor’s Christmas wish list”

    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.

    vip-writers says:

    Hi everyone! Working as a freelance writer for 3 years, and jump in here to remind, that the best gift you can share with a people that close to you, is, ofcourse, attention) To not be overdramatic, i must to say, every christmas i get some kind of a writing stuff, like an expensive autopen or notebook. Though, i would like to recieve a mechanical keyboard for typing or an ipad, that i could type from any place.

    ARG says:

    Is the wish list really “for” editors? No, it’s “from” editors. And, on that note, I would love for younger generations to learn to use the proper prepositions, rather than believing that prepositions are interchangeable.

      Robby Brumberg says:

      HMMM I see your point. HOWEVER, I think either word works in this case. It’s “from” editors, sure, though this extremely serious list also offers ideas “for” the world’s editors to send Santa’s way as they see fit. In the spirit of holiday joy and peace, let’s compromise with “An editor’s Christmas wish list.” Daily Headlines

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