May 30, 2012

A proof of the existence of an intelligent proofreader? [NeuroCooking FlashBack]

Just one sentence was deleted, the last sentence of an appendix-of-sorts at the end of a brief (three-page) article. And that deletion appeared to me to be a proof of the existence of an intelligent (if not loving) proofreader.

A few years ago I was invited to contribute a brief introductory article to a special issue of a magazine. So I did.

The professional society that publishes this magazine (and many journals) requests (insists) that every author supply a brief professional biographical sketch (the usual stuff: training, appointments, research interests), to appear at the end of the article. So I did.

Only, when I got the page proofs back (in PDF form), I found that the final sentence of my biographical sketch was gone!

I didn't mind. I certainly wasn't offended, nor did I think that this editing reflected poorly on the journal or its publisher. Indeed, I took the deletion of the final sentence of my draft biosketch to be a sign of the existence of an intelligent proofreader. As in "hey, someone is really reading this stuff!"

And that sentence? It was:
A son of the Garden State, Dr. Pekar is especially grateful to have worked with so many international scientists, who tend to lack the irrational prejudice against New Jersey so prevalent among his own countrymen.

This post first appeared in August, 2009

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