The way it used to be

Retired newsie Bob has this about copy editors:

Your rhetorical question as to whether the Trib has copy editors who walk over to the writer and ask if you had such-and-such in mind put a smile on my face remembering a Sun-Times copy writer who would walk over and start every consultation with the words, "Did you write this piece of shit?"

It always put me in a good mood because he asked every writer that question and you knew it was just unbiased copy desk irreverence for all writers.

But perhaps we live in different times and such a question would wind up before the EEOC.

I would say so.  You have to watch what you say these days.


Anonymous said...

The Sun-Times copy editor was being polite. At the old Daily News, the taskmasters on the city desk--people who didn't take shit--wouldn't bother to get out of their chair, but would shout the piece-of-shit question across the entire newsroom.More usually like: "What the fuck is this piece of shit?" Today, such behavior--often warranted--would not just wind up before the EEOC, but also OSHA and NLRB.

Jim Bowman said...

Reader and veteran newsie still-at-it William offers something wry to go with all this salami:

And it was fun as a nightside reporter in the old days drinking lunch with the night copy desk crew who in an hour or so would be dizzily reading your story.

Jim Bowman said...

Reader Dick, a vet, remembers straight tough talk about what he wrote from even younger than work experience: I had the same experience with one of my High School English teachers -- a male all the way down to his shoes. They were nicer when I went to college, but by then, no one dared to insult us, since we had been halfway around the world and knew everything.