Who Copyedits The Copy Editors?

Copy editors: so important yet too often overlooked and unthanked. Be meticulous and exacting at your job day after day, and when will you finally receive recognition? Only when a front-page headline gets botched or an error like “Department of Pubic Works” creeps into a story. Imagine, then, the pressure that must be felt by the editors of Copyediting, a bimonthly trade newsletter for copy editors. The strain of achieving perfection for an eagle-eyed audience of one’s peers must be enormous. After all, what excuse can there be for a misspelled word or misplaced apostrophe when you run a publication called Copyediting? Yet, as terrible as it is, there’s something ridiculously satisfying about spotting a typo in an article devoted to the most efficient ways to catch typos. Let’s indulge together.

Here are ten nitpicks taken from the last three issues of the newsletter.













(In this case, the question being quoted was submitted via LinkedIn, but what, no [sic]?)








(Buffett is spelled with two t’s.)


(In this list, the word “and” should not be italicized since it’s not part of the “objectionable entries.”)




Related: What It’s Really Like To Be A Copy Editor

Doug Campbell has worked for newspapers and magazines in Syracuse and New York City. He’s moving to Chapel Hill in June, where he will probably be blacklisted from every copyediting gig ever. Find him on Twitter.