Elegy for Copy Editors

“Copy editors are more powerful than proofreaders. They untangle twisted
prose. They are surgeons, removing growths of error and irrelevance.”


Most copy editors never see elegant sentences like this published under their own bylines. Copy editor Lawrence Downes represents his kind well, in an op-ed in the New York Times. Too bad he does so as, he says, copy editors are a dying breed, becoming “an artisanal product, like monastery honey and wooden yachts.”