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Publications > Dateline Houston > October 2002 > From the Editor


Volume 42, Issue 2

October 2002

From the Editor
Editors’ Pet Peeves or Peevish Editors?

by Rebecca Taylor, Product Marketing Analyst, Hewlett-Packard

I lurk on the electronic discussion list for the STC Technical Editing SIG, and I witnessed the recent online brawl, or “discussion,” about editors’ pet peeves. It reminded me of a trip I took with my STC student chapter in February 1998 to the Region 5 conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Five of us, all utterly unique and outspoken individuals from very different walks of life, piled into my tiny Honda Civic and drove the 13+ hours from Socorro, NM, to Fort Worth. I was skeptical that we’d make it in one piece. No, I did not doubt the sturdiness of my car or the driving abilities of my copilots. I was worried we would tear each other apart!

As you can imagine, being cooped up in a small space for so long, we started fishing for conversation topics. Every once in a while, we’d stop to switch seats so the ones in back could take turns sitting on the hump in the seat. We’d pile back in and carry on our animated dialogue for another couple hundred miles. I was pleasantly surprised that ¾ of the trip had passed without a hitch, vehicular or otherwise. We talked about religion, politics, relationships, professors, classes, and anything else that popped to mind without skipping a beat or raising a voice.

Then, to my dismay, we had our first argument. The first raised voices were heard, and opinions were dismissed out of hand. Had we stumbled upon a controversial legislative ruling? A sensitive political issue? Nope. We had decided to debate the use of serif versus sans serif fonts in online headings. Oh, did we riot! Eventually, for the sake of our sanity while completing our journey, we agreed to disagree and drop the subject in favor of less stirring topics such as parental rights, drinking ages, and war versus peace.

Who said editors weren’t passionate people?


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