I admitted recently to taking myself a bit too seriously. I will go so far as to say that I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to grammar, spelling, and punctuation. (Simply typing that sentence has ensured that karma will insist on no less than three mistakes in this post, by the way.)
There’s no doubt that even the best writer can benefit from the expertise of a good editor. Even Salman Rusdie has to heed the red pen, after all. (And if you think his editor is tough…)
Why is it then, that those who really, really need this expert guidance are the least likely to seek it? I’m talking about graffiti artists like the one who professed his religious devotion in the most obvious way, by mispelling it on a mailbox in downtown Seattle:
(Yes, I felt moved to take a picture of it.)
But, those who really should pay attention are the ones who are going to wear their grammatical error for the rest of their lives. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Horrible Tattoos.*
*Just to be clear, I don’t actually give you horrible tattoos. I don’t even give you good tattoos. I get queasy at the sight of blood.
Unfortunately, not enough people believe this. Just look at the newspapers now that they’ve laid off most of the copy editing staff (I’ve been finding gibberish in the Star-Ledger lately).