Writers vs editors

From Technical Editing by Carolyn D Rude: Ernest Mazzatenta (what a surname), former president of the Society for Technical Communication, has collected statements from hundreds of writer-researchers about what they like and dislike about editors. I am going to skip the boring part (what writers like most about editors) and get down to the juicy subject: what writers dislike most about editors. Bold highlights are added by yours truly.

  • asks the writer to rewrite a section without giving any indication of what's wrong with it or any direction to take
  • makes changes only to incorporate the editor's style of writing
  • suggests qualifiers and disclaimers to analyses that, in the writer's professional judgment, are excessive
  • uses words that are not acceptable to the writer and won't change them
  • replaces words with synonyms
  • requires too many iterations (for example, ten)
  • makes comments that are inconsistent with the department head's comments

Except for the last two points, they are all about crash of the egos. I imagine the dialogue that goes there.

Writer: Don't forget who you are – do just what you are supposed to do.

Editor: Let me help you, hard-head. I know better about what good writing is about.

Should we all put down our keyboards and take 101 Office Politics?