In which I make a fool of myself

in this very blog entry!

I wrote this:
I'm taken aback by this public slap down by an editor. I think if the editor addressed it to writer wannabes, then sure, the snark tone works. But the people who work for her? In public? Did I mention in public?

The one time I did mention a particular publisher in this very not-very-widely-read blog, and slightly whined, I think I did a good job of disguising who I was talking about. I still got in trouble. I think that the hand slap I got in response was probably justified.

What about me, now, writing about this? I sure as hell wouldn't if I worked for them.

Yet now I'm suddenly feeling meta and looking in mirrors: What's ruder? Being rude or pointing out a rude act?

Aha! aka, the UPDATE: you can discover--along with Sam--Kate is a MAJOR GOOBER.

Yes, the editor is making fun of herself.

And you know what? This is such an example of bad, bad Kate that I'm so tempted to delete. The thing is I didn't read it right the first time and saw the snark directed at the people she was addressing. Plus I got this from a friend who will ne'er be named, who does write for them, and who was offended.

And now I'm remembering how this use of second person is an example STRAIGHT OUT OF PR classes (yeah, I took them in college and I did very well, thank you. Yet another example of how college and real life are not even remotely related.):::: Second person is powerful.

People see YOU and they get all skittish.

By "people," I mean me. And by "skittish," I mean stupid.

I got caught just like this months ago a year ago in a dispute here and over at Karen's place. I saw a note from Rosalyn addressed to "you white people" and off I went, like a bottle rocket, all ballistic-y omigGGAWWD racism!! It was only when I went back later to read it that I saw "many of you white people" The "many" made a huge big difference in that example.

Oops, Sorry.

So the lessons we learned today:
1. Don't trust Kate to read things carefully even if she's a writer. No, do not listen to Kate.
2. If you want emotionally affect readers to such a degree that they might not actually be able to read what you actually wrote, use second person.


  1. Wasn't Helen making disparaging comments about her own editing?

  2. OH, details, details Sam. Thanks for ruining my perfectly good rant by pointing out facts.

    sheesh. Also Angie? Um. I'm sorry.

  3. LOL - In your defense, let me just say that it's not obvious at first that she's talking about herself because she does mention notes and her editing staff.
    And only someone who knows Helen is an editor would automatically assume she was speaking about herself. Helen actually edited one of my books (did a great job, BTW) and was very funny about it, so knew she was talking 'bout herself. Not your fault - she could edit for clarity.


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