I called my friend Vernon tonight to wish him a happy birthday and to thank him for my salary, not to mention my health insurance. He was puzzled by this until I reminded him that in 2002 he had given me some advice which he had heard somewhere:
“Be bold. Strong unseen forces will work in your favor.”
That knocked me out, so I passed it on to my cousin Max, who was debating buying a travel website. He put it on his fridge. In time he decided to buy GoNOMAD and the rest, as they say, is history.
I always assumed the advice was from Carl Jung, but Vernon says it might be Nietzche, or whatever his name is, the Thus Spoke Zarathustra guy. We’re going to research it.
Wherever it came from, it’s good advice; I’m the poster guy for that.
It echoes and enlarges on a bit of historical advice that Julius Caesar gave to an Albanian fisherman when the two of them infiltrated Pompey’s blockade of the Adriatic: “Be bold and fear nothing, for the destiny of Caesar rides with your tonight.”
I’m just grateful that in this transvoluting space we call the present, there is still a need for the ancient trade of the copy editor.
Spell checkers are fine as a tool, but they won’t pick up erroneous homonyms. They are working hard on this, but they just can’t come up with a program that can tell plane from plain, bear from bare, effect from affect, or even shall from will. It’s just too darned complex. You have to know the history of the English language, and you have to know all the paradigms, old and new.
Brilliant writers can’t be bothered to learn all this. And why should they? Their job is to write brilliantly and not have to worry about the stupid stuff. That’s what old-time copy editors are for.