So, I edited this author’s manuscript and sent it back to him. He looked over the changes and chose to either accept my changes or reject them. I just think it’s funny, the changes he rejected. From my perspective I tried to save him from sounding stupid. I imagine that from his perspective a lot of my changes destroyed his coolest tricks. You know, he reached into his big bag of tricks and pulled out the most inappropriate words to describe things and thought that was a cool trick. Like when the kids say wicked to describe something cool. Or when Michael Jackson sings: “I’m bad, I’m bad, you know it.” And Michael means, I’m so cool I grab my crotch in public.
So I get all huffy and don’t want to adjust my changes. I want to keep them because I tried to protect the author’s image and he doesn’t get it. When he says he sits at his computer screen, I say, take out screen, you don’t need it. You don’t sit at your computer screen. You sit at your computer or you sit in front of your computer screen. But I guess I was just getting technical. He’s right. I’m wrong. How did I even get this job? I suck as a copy editor.
He’s thinking to himself, “I’m the one who wrote this book, I know more than you.” He’s thinking, “I wrote this book. What have you done?” And he’s right. What have I done? He’s thinking, “I have a doctorate. What do you have? A bachelor’s? Ha. Ha ha ha ha. That’s nothing.” And in a way, he’s right. What good is a bachelor’s these days? Ha. Ha ha ha.
He’s telling me certain words take an object and I’m saying, "We use Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, what are you using?" He’s saying, "I learned this in the late 60’s, when I was in college." And I’m saying, "Wake up man! It’s 2007. Language changes, man! The only thing that’s the same from the 60’s is weed, man! Let’s have a joint! Yeah!"