Editing: Where Do You Begin?

  • Michael Alley


The pilot has removed the fasten seat belt sign, the man in the aisle seat beside you has stopped his nervous chatter, and you are ready to begin editing Calloway’s report. Before the flight attendants even begin the beverage service, the report has you rattled. The problems you see are certainly not insurmountable, but they are distracting. First is the text typeface, a large sans serif font that would be appropriate perhaps for an elementary school reader, but not for a technical report, especially not for one with national distribution. Another distraction is Calloway’s penchant for pretentious words: prioritization, facilitation and manufacturability.These words make the document read like something written by a bureaucrat, not by an engineer. Still another distraction is Calloway’s confusion between affect and effect. How could an engineer who reads even the minimum amount of literature in his or her field make that mistake?




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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Alley
    • 1
  1. 1.College of EngineeringVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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