Editing Rules I Learned Wrong


Once upon a time, I was a brand-new copy editor brimming with enthusiasm for my newly acquired editing knowledge.

Like a lot of brand-new copy editors, I didn’t have much context for understanding the rules. I didn’t realize that most were style conventions and not true grammar rules.

So I applied those style conventions with a passion reminiscent of guards in the Stanford Prison Experiment.

I’ve since learned that some editing rules shouldn’t be taken too seriously. And I’m always amused when I see a piece of writing edited with the same eager-beaver naivete.

Here are some of editing rules I and other editors have taken a bit too seriously.

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