Giles Coren is a god
July 30, 2008
I have worked with many good sub editors in my time. They can polish turds and make them look like works of art. I know of one who has won two Qantas Awards (Hi Mark) although they have other people’s names on them because he took their poor copy and turned it into award winning journalism.
This rant is not about those subs.
This rant is about those braindead oafs who refuse to keep up with the living, breathing force that is modern language. Those idiots who ruin good jokes because they don’t see the point to them, who destroy carefully worded columns by chopping off the end, who stick poor introductions on the front thus making a mockery of the hard work of the reporter.
But most importantly this is a rant about those wankers who cannot write headlines that pop and sizzle, who refuse to step outside the box (as it were) even for a second and who get royally grumpy when anyone dares suggest they might be a tad old fashioned. Those dorks who litter my copy with commas, who have no understanding of the work the reporter does, let alone the work they’re supposed to do, who make life more difficult for the writer, instead of making it a dream.
Giles Coren is that mad restaurant reviewer from The Times who is passionate about food and dares to try strange things. He’s also passionate about language and knows how to throw out a few choice words as well.
I wrote: “I can’t think of a nicer place to sit this spring over a glass of
rosé and watch the boys and girls in the street outside smiling gaily to
each other, and wondering where to go for a nosh.”
It appeared as: “I can’t think of a nicer place to sit this spring over a
glass of rosé and watch the boys and girls in the street outside smiling
gaily to each other, and wondering where to go for nosh.”
There is no length issue. This is someone thinking “I’ll just remove this
indefinite article because Coren is an illiterate cunt and i know best”.
Well, you fucking don’t.
If I find the rest of his email online somewhere I’ll post it. Doesn’t seem right to post the entire rant here but frankly, Giles, you rule.
EDIT: Hattip to Rachel who found the full post on the Guardian website.
EDIT II: And to show a certain balance, here’s the link to the subs’ response. A nicely worded piece that makes some good points but misses the actual point of Giles’s rant: why take out that letter at all? And isn’t it just like a sub to miss the point?