mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
mabfan

Light Bulb Joke For Editors!

I thought people who read my blog might get a kick out of this, so I'm sharing it here.

Over on the SFF Net newsgroups, specifically the newsgroup sff.publishing.daw, Steve Leigh quoted the following joke, which I copy verbatim:


Q: How many copyeditors does is take to screw in a lightbulb?


A: That sentence isn't clear. Does it mean to have sex in a lightbulb, or to place a lightbulb in its socket? Please clarify.


Deborah J. Ross then chose to pass along the joke to Lyn Dupré, a friend who edits scientific articles, and she came up with the following response (which to my mind just makes this a better joke overall):


Q: How many copyeditors does is take to screw in a lightbulb?


A: That sentence isn't clear. Does it mean to have sex in a lightbulb, or to place a lightbulb in its socket? Please clarify.

Suggest: 

A: (1) Sentence as written is ambiguous. Does it mean to have sexual intercourse inside of a lightbulb (in which case, pls clarify size of bulb), or to place a lightbulb in its socket? (2) The phrase "does it take" is messy. The anticipatory pronoun has no reference. Who or what is doing the taking? Pls recast. (3) The term "copy editor" is a not complex noun, and thus has no excuse for being set as a single word. It is an adjective (copy) and a noun (editor). A dress the color of mammalian blood is not a "reddress"; it is a "red dress." Note also that, when set as two words, "copy editor" does not take a hyphen, unless the phrase is being used as a complex (non-predicate) adjective, as, for example, "a copy-editor hissy fit." (4) There is an obvious typographical error. Suggest you proofread manuscripts before submitting them as final.
Tags: silly, writing-advice
Subscribe

  • 9/11 Fifteen Years Ago - Personal Reflections

    How can it possibly be fifteen years ago for something that to many of feels like it happened yesterday? Exactly fifteen years ago today,…

  • What It Means to Be Superman

    Last week, DC Comics published Superman #2. (I think this may be the fourth time they've published a Superman #2, but that's irrelevant for…

  • DC Challenge

    DC Challenge is my favorite comic-book series of all time. The premise of the story was that 12 writer/artist teams did a round robin, where a new…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Comments allowed for friends only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 13 comments

  • 9/11 Fifteen Years Ago - Personal Reflections

    How can it possibly be fifteen years ago for something that to many of feels like it happened yesterday? Exactly fifteen years ago today,…

  • What It Means to Be Superman

    Last week, DC Comics published Superman #2. (I think this may be the fourth time they've published a Superman #2, but that's irrelevant for…

  • DC Challenge

    DC Challenge is my favorite comic-book series of all time. The premise of the story was that 12 writer/artist teams did a round robin, where a new…