April 1, 2021

Ralph's Manual of Style, Introduction

Copy Editors Unite! Doctors, lawyers, and accountants live like kings (and queens), while copy editors are left to cross their t’s. The problem is clarity: Copy editors are, by virtue of their trade, too well understood. THIS IS THE MANUAL THAT WILL CHANGE ALL THAT!

THINK! If people easily understand what you are paid to produce, then they are going to wonder why it is that they are paying you to produce it. If, on the other hand, they can’t grasp a single word that comes out of your mouth (see doctors, lawyers, and, yes, accountants), then they will think you have some special, elite knowledge that warrants a home in Beverly Hills and, of course, a BMW. Though the thick volumes that archive our trade knowledge hold just as many important- and foreign- sounding words as texts of other professions (words like pluperfect, subjunctive, and Starbucks), these very volumes ensure that the general public will be able to understand the end product with little more effort than they spend watching TV. THIS IS WHERE RALPH’S MANUAL OF STYLE COMES IN. Ralph’s Manual of StyLe (RMS) is guaranteed to confuse even people with multiple PhDs. Once the publishing world turns to RMS, people will have to hire a copy editor just to interpret their TV guides. So throw away all the other books that litter your shelves and follow Ralph’s exclusively, and in no time at all, you will be able to afford a BMW, a Beverly Hills home, and possibly even the ser- vices of a doctor, a lawyer, or an accountant. —Ralph

(C) 2021 by Targets in English. All rights reserved.

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