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Wrong Way Around

Decades ago I was lumbered with editing a weekly paper's sports pages. These pages often rely on match reports submitted by one of the teams involved, most often the home side. You won't be surprised to learn that the quality of the reports submitted varied a lot. Some, quite frankly, were terrible.  But if the paper wanted to have coverage of all matches in the area, they all had to used. In a somewhat perfect world every match report would be the same length. But in a big scoring game the last thing that's needed is a line such as "And then we scored six more goals taking United's total tally to 22"  to avoid exceeding the word limit. So, some editing was required. Often the worst written match reports were the toughest to edit because they barely made even sense as originally submitted and it wasn't always possible to get a hold of the contributor to clarify matters. I had one contributor who was especially awful and could not be safely edited. I also had a couple of contributors who were excellent and their copy a joy to edit. This really bad contributor was talking to one of the excellent ones. The awful one announced that his contributions were so good they were never edited. The better writer was frequently edited, because she safely could be, and naturally entertained hurt feelings because the implication was that her contributions were regarded as of inferior quality. I can't remember how I got out of that one, but I'm pretty sure I didn't tell her that the other contributor was one of the worst we had. 


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