Are copy editors suddenly trendy?

buzzThis BuzzFeed post (sponsored by The Economist) gives copy editors their very own top-16 list. I can’t take it too seriously; BuzzFeed is the source of lists about cuddly animals, trashed celebrities, silly hypotheses and wacky recipes — all in one place.

The story, however, makes a great point. Our written communication, online and everywhere else, is sloppy and riddled with errors. It’s nothing new, but maybe the zanier-than-thou forum of BuzzFeed will give it a much-needed viral lift.

I’ve argued here for months that copy editing skills have been snuck into a wide variety of jobs. It’s not as though the news desk refugee is unmarketable. But we’ve marginalized the skill set as we’ve mastered the tasks of non-newspaper industries. The result is that the People in Charge ™ don’t fully grasp the importance of copy editing, and we don’t have the space to practice our craft effectively.

Perhaps we need to see the copy editor title revived. I don’t suggest that it’s dead. But I’ve been on the job market more than once in the past few years, and I rarely see a posting for a “copy editor” — the actual title gets used perhaps 8 percent of the time (in my unscientific estimation).

Maybe it’s a rhetoric thing. Maybe if we more deliberately force the title into use across industries, we’ll experience that long-awaited renaissance in quality content, so our websites, newspapers and billboards don’t look so bloody awful.

What do you think? Could the title of our past light the way for a brighter future?



One response to “Are copy editors suddenly trendy?

  1. Oh, I would love for copy editors to be included in everything because it would be easier to find a job doing something I love instead of only relying on magazines and newspapers to provide jobs for potential copy editors.

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