Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Read Giles Coran's Letter to Times Subs

Thanks to Kathleen for this post from The Guardian. Priceless!

I don't really like people tinkering with my copy for the sake of tinkering. . . It was the final sentence. Final sentences are very, very important. A piece builds to them, they are the little jingle that the reader takes with him into the weekend. 

I wrote: "I can't think of a nicer place to sit this spring over a glass of rose 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 rose 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 something thinking "I'll just remove this indefinite article because Coren is an illiterate cunt and I know best."

Well, you fucking don't.


3 comments:

JM said...

If I'm not mistaken, this letter from Giles Coren--and a bracing response from a pair of copy editors--was printed in Harper's October 2008 issue. As was the list of literary definitions offered by Offutt!

So if you don't have a subscription already, Suzanne, I know what you're getting for your birthday...

SM said...

Ha! Kurt actually has a sub to Harper's, but we also get the Atlantic, the New Yorker, the Economist, and 3-4 other monthlies. I never seem to be able to read much of Harper's these days, because those damn NYers come at me too fast to keep up with anything else. Ridiculous.

JM said...

I can somehow always make time for the Harper's "readings." Check out this month's, if you can. There are some real doozies, including the email correspondence between a terrorist-leaning Canadian and his Pakistani love interest, and a philosophical analysis of Obama's inner void.