Another editor didn't like to use names in headlines, especially if the person wasn't famous. He also didn't like to start a story with a name.
Yet another editor hates it when newspapers use the word hike as a verb, as in, "The New York Yankees hiked ticket prices yesterday." They also raised prices, and that'll work nicely.
One of my greatest pet peeves is "made his way." I once started reading a chapter in a novel and noticed "made his way" eight times on one page and 40 times in the chapter. The protagonist didn't walk, strut or stroll. He didn't move, slide, wend or walk. He didn't even matriculate or hurry. He made his way, over and over and over.
I hate it when a writer uses less when fewer works better. "GM is building less cars this year" makes me throw up. GM is building fewer cars than last year.
My greatest pet peeve is a lazy writer who won't re-read his stories a few times to find typos or other mistakes. He misses repetition and changes in tense. And he misses repetition. This guy thinks he's perfect the first time, and he's always wrong.
As writer/grammarian William Safire has said, “If you re-read your work, you can find on re-reading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by re-reading and editing."
Contact: I can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.
More EDITOR@WORK blog entries
Entries from The Dog Blog
Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)
More blog entries by Tom Gillispie
Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie