Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Beware the editor's footnote

Still coughing but becoming more loquacious.

I spend my leisure fencing with the literate, multi-talented, globe-spread, no doubt handsome people of the blog world. But I have another life – running a local website – where passions take a different turn. For instance:

BELMONT RURAL letters.
The editor's right to edit is understood but when my words "the Rotherwas Waste Recycling Centre" were changed to "the dump" I queried this with the website's editor-in-chief.

Our discussion centred on public awareness. Many folk may not realise that, on average, 80% of the unwanted materials delivered to The Rotherwas Centre are in fact reused for… etc, etc,
Cllr X

NOTE Since Cllr X has uncomplainingly borne not only changes to many of his website contributions in the past, but even outright refusal to publish other contributions, he is fully entitled to draw attention to what he considers heavy-handed or unsympathetic editing. Calling the RWRC the dump diminishes the centre's functions, it is true. But no label is an exact description. I reacted to the newer term in the way I might had I been faced with "rat catcher" elevated to "pest and rodent extermination officer". Also the shorter word has benefits: asking the average Herefordian the way to the dump might well produce an immediate answer, whereas there could well be a pause (at best) if the longer phrase were inserted. And since the website has only one worker-ant I feel I can dispense with editor-in-chief for the shorter, punchier - website editor.

8 comments:

The Crow said...

Your response seems perfectly logical to me. So, there!

Sir Hugh said...

It is not always the case but on this occasion the French have an appropriate single word:la d├ęchetterie. Anyway it's much better than their only word for a camera: l'appareil photo.

Lucy said...

Sounds good to me.

I certainly like a nice bit of fencing...

Rouchswalwe said...

It isn't complaining if one is making folks aware of important information, is it?

One nifty little job title at my workplace is the Director of Surplus Disposal and Retention Practices and Guidelines.

Barrett Bonden said...

All: What this exchange illustrates is the continuing war between politicians and journalists (Encapsulated in Claude Cockburn's instruction to all other journalists: "Ask yourself why is this bastard lying to me?") And for this it's necessary to know the politician's hidden agenda. Hereford's dump is located on the Rotherwas Industrial Estate, and this is a fact many of those running businesses there would prefer not to see emphasised. The politician is acting as their catspaw, urging me to take on their interests and disguise the dump's existence with this heavily polysyllabic synonym. Were I to do so readers of the website would see me as part of this "disguising" conspiracy. Interestingly, in rejecting this suggestion I find I have adopted a style that's almost as long-winded and tending towards the pompous as the proffered new phrase. It's clear I need a much longer spoon...

Avus said...

"Stig of the Rotherwas Waste Recycling Centre" does not, somehow have the same ring.

(I notice, by the way, that I am required to enter "goodfock" as my verifying word!)

Hattie said...

Around here we call them "transfer centers." Where does the trash get transferred to? Why, the landfill!
It only makes sense. In my land we have no toilets, only restrooms. And people never die; they pass on, or simply "pass."

Barrett Bonden said...

Hattie: A year ago I did a post about euphemisms, based primarily on US alternatives for the place where we go to get rid of our boldily waste products. In good old Rustbelt Pittsburgh "the can" sufficed but Julia (among others) put me right about the South. "Powder room" for women (which I knew) and "the facilities" for men. As you say, dying is the most euphemistic process any of us will ever experience. It is a comfort to know I shall be separated from all these middle-class constructions when it happens.