Thursday, October 14, 2004

Back Down to Earth

Nothing to bring back perspective than a snotty reader's report leading to a rejection letter. I'm not entirely surprised at the rejection, because the paper wasn't perfect for the journal and even if it were, I could see disagreeing with the argument, which is pretty provocative.

But really, to put in a whole paragraph on not being consistent in using single versus double quotation marks, and this not being in line with British usage (and also to complain about commas in date citations): dude, you need to get out more.

In the past I would have really worried about the stupid quotation mark thing, wondering if that had been the straw that broke the camel's back and caused the rejection. Now that I edit a journal (with Doug Anderson and Verlyn Flieger), I know that this is the most trivial nitpicking imaginable. The editing process will fix these kinds of issues.

But the important thing, when this happens to you, is not to ignore the entire, substantive report because one paragraph was so stupid.

And when you're writing reader's reports: don't waste everybody's time because you had difficulty toilet training.

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