Want to know what an editor is really thinking when he’s reading that article you submitted?

It’s good that people can’t hear me when I edit their writing. “Blah blah blah.” “Is this a garbled translation from the Cyrolean?” “Did you reread your writing? I’m not your mother.” “Urrrh.” It wouldn’t be polite.I have edited a literary and cultural-studies journal for the past 15 years, and it’s hard not to feel some irritation when it seems I pay more attention to other people’s words than they do.

Of course some academic writing is as elegant as the drape of Armani, and one can’t expect everyone to write as well as Louis Menand. But if you pick up a typical article in an academic journal, what happens? Does it put the ding in plodding? 

Read the entire article here at the Chronicle.

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