Why Editors Make Good Friends

When I first started working here at F+W, I was terrified by the idea of sending emails to editors on a regular basis. I’d spend half an hour composing an email to ask a simple question, imagining the whole time that the editor on the receiving end would be judging my writing. What if I used the wrong tense or misspelled a word? She’d probably call all the other editors over to her computer to laugh at how stupid the new designer was!

It didn’t take me too long to get over my phobia. The truth is, editors are not superhuman. But they are pretty nice to have around. It’s true that they sometimes dwell on topics like serial commas in everyday conversation, but I’m fairly positive that my talk of bad kerning doesn’t excite them either. So I think we’re even there. Editors really do come in handy though.

Editors are tremendously helpful in their knowledge of correct spelling and capitalization. I rarely have to use a dictionary or thesaurus anymore. Now I just yell across the aisle, “Hey, editors, is ‘website’ one word or two? Do I capitalize ‘sales’ when I’m talking about the sales department? What’s a less offensive way to say, ‘this looks like crap’?” They can be a real time-saver.

The reason I most enjoy having editors around though is their mad Google skillz. (Yes, I know that’s misspelled, but in my lexicon, there reaches a point where your skills are so impressive, they then become “skillz.”) Editors can find anything online. ANYTHING. There have been many times I have spent countless minutes trying to find some trivial bit of information on the internet, only to come up empty-handed. I will then ask one of the editors if they know this information, and seconds later, they have an answer. To give you a recent example:

Editor: “Pat Sajak has been around for a really long time.”

Me: “I wonder how many hosts Family Feud has had in the time that Pat Sajak has been hosting Wheel of Fortune?”

Editor: “Just a minute…” (three seconds pass) “… there have been six hosts on Family Feud since Wheel of Fortune started.”

Me: (speechless)

For awhile I thought they must be using some secret program I didn’t know about. But I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes. All it takes is an editor, a computer and an internet connection to Google. Instant information! It’s really very convenient.

I only wish I would have known more editors back when I was in school writing research papers.

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2 Responses to “Why Editors Make Good Friends”


  1. 1 laurenmosko October 28, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Grace, this cracked me up. Thanks for the shout-out. And for the record, designers are pretty awesome to work with too. We may be masters of Google, but you are the Goddesses of InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator, not to mention all things cool in pop culture and fashion. When a designer says, “Yes, editor, mustaches are indeed making a comeback. I saw it on Project Runway,” “Hey, I like the clean lines and sophisticated contour of your new glasses” or “The texture of that jacket calls to mind CRUMBLE CRACKLE BURN,” an editor knows her money was well spent.

    I raise a toast to the supreme genius of the editor-designer relationship. We’re like chocolate and peanut butter, baby. Wine and cheese. Zombies and Haiku.

  2. 2 vanessalynnw October 28, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    I agree with Lauren, the editor-designer relationship is symbiotic and completely awesome.

    Loved this post. (I agree with you about when skills spill over into skillz, too).


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