Editorial dreams

I don't think I've had a dream about editing before. Kind of funny that I should have one while I'm on vacation. (It's probably because I read a work-related email last night that mentioned different levels of editing.)

(Note that in this dream, I was an editor for some company that doesn't exist in real life, and my colleagues were also not real-life people.)

Most of the dream was arguing about/discussing a couple of specific style issues. I don't remember the one that I found most interesting in the dream, but here are the others:

  • I was arguing, for some reason that made sense to me in the dream, that we should adopt a house style of never using the word “dare”. I had some kind of argument to the effect that there was never a politically appropriate context in which it could be used. In real life, I was obviously wrong about that, but the nice side effect of this was that I woke up with the song “By My Side” (from Godspell) running through my head.
  • The dream had started with my reading a brief article we had published about a woman and her daughter. We had a style guideline that said we should never specify the age of a woman over 25, so the article had a confusingly phrased line that mentioned both of them and said something like “she's sixteen,” making it sound like that was the mother's age. But the real problem with the article wasn't the stilted phrasing to conform to our weird (though well-intentioned in the dream) editorial guideline, it was that the whole article's focus was something problematic and superficial about the woman (I don't remember what).

I suppose if there's a lesson for me to take from this dream, it's the obvious one that I as an editor should try to start by paying attention to the big-picture important issues rather than getting so narrowly focused on tiny details that I miss bigger problems.

(Side note: In my list of categories that can be applied to blog entries, “Dreams” and “Editing” are right next to each other.)

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