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NOTES FROM THE COPY DESK
What copy editors do is conspicuous only if it goes undone. If we do our job well, you'll never know we did it. There will be no misspellings, dangling modifiers, or unclear pronouns. Terms will be used consistently from one article to the next. The words will convey the most information in the simplest form.
It is rare copy that cannot benefit from judicious surgery. Writers and editors find this painful, but most admit that they profit from the operation. Successful copy-editing lies in cutting a phrase here and a sentence there, with an occasional graft or resection. The job becomes more complicated when we deal with technical …