The Dangers of Copyediting

The Dangers of Copyediting

One of the top searches leading people to this site is for “explain the most dangerous aspect of copyediting.” What, on Earth, is up?! Who is asking searchers to address this question?

What are the dangers of copyediting? A paper cut? Getting crushed under a collapsed pile of reference works. Not anymore! Our work (and references) are all digital! What’s left? Being sued for a lingering typo? Well, the risks are not none! There’s still radiation from electronics (is there?) and eye strain, repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrom,e and the various dELiGhTs of a sedentary lifestyle.

Sometimes, smart-alek, lives are at stake in the material being edited: such as for CPR protocols, nuclear safety manuals, food safety, medicine, and maybe driving directions. But the rest of the risk concerns legalities, more or less.

Types of Dangers in Editing

Given that popular search as a prompt, ChatGPT (3.5) said that “The most dangerous aspect of copyediting is complacency. When you become too comfortable or confident in your skills, you might overlook errors or fail to catch subtle mistakes. Vigilance is key to maintaining quality and accuracy in the editing process.” Indeed, failure to keep looking up guidelines (sometimes known as “rules”) and getting entrenched in your favourite restrictions is a danger in copyediting. It’s much more effective to be open to many ways of expressing ideas in both structure and grammar. If we hadn’t remained open to other ways of expressing ideas, we’d all still be writing like Chaucer!

Still, we can think of more dangers that editors may face.

The Hidden Risks Lurking in Copyediting that You Never Knew Existed!

Unveiling the Shocking Truth!

Editing is about far more than detecting typos. Though, there are enough legal cases that hinged on a comma (here’s one, and another) or a thumbs-up emoji that there’s no denying that typing matters. Here’s a round-up of dangers beyond typos:

After you read all those posts, let me know what other dangers you predict.

Start training now
with these self-study guides!

Leave a Reply