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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2010-03-17 17:39
Subject: [writing] The vorpal copy editor
Security: Public
Tags:funny, writing

Dear Lew -

I've been going over this section of your mss, and I've spotted some problems. We're having some issues with the manual of style here, but also a lot of your attributions.


'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves


I'm assuming "brillig" is a typo for "brilliant". Also, "slithy" for "slimy". Having trouble running down "toves". Can you provide a cite for prior use?


Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:


"Gyre" misused here, I think. And "gimbal" is misspelled. What did you mean by "wave"? This is a maritime reference, right?


All mimsy were the borogoves,


"Mimsy" for "flimsy"? And the closest I can come to "borogroves" is "Borogravian".


And the mome raths outgrabe.


I'm correcting this to "mommy rats outgrew" if that's alright.


"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!


Ok with this line, assuming "Jabberwock" is a proper name.


The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!


All good here.


Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun


"Jubjub" for "jojoba"? Desert plant belongs in a maritime poem?


The frumious Bandersnatch!"


"Furious bandsaw."


He took his vorpal sword in hand:


"Vorpal" for "vortex"? Would fit with "gyre".


Long time the manxome foe he sought --


"Manxome" - Isle of Man?


So rested he by the Tumtum tree,


You may have a trademark issue with "Tumtum".


And stood awhile in thought.


All good here.


And, as in uffish thought he stood,


"Of fish he thought"?


The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,


Good.


Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,


Cannot find cites for "Tulgey". "Bulging"? Though we may have a giggle factor with "bulging wood"


And burbled as it came!


All good here.


One, two! One, two! And through and through


Good.


The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!


"Vortex" again. Also, a trademark issue with "snicker", possibly, given its use with "snack."


He left it dead, and with its head


All good.


He went galumphing back.


"Galloping" for "galumphing"?


"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?


Good.


Come to my arms, my beamish boy!


"Beamish"? Cannot find reference. "Beaming" would make sense in context.


O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'


"Frabjous" for "fabulous"? Cannnot find cites for "Callooh! Callay!" either.


He chortled in his joy.


"Chortled" = "chuckled"?


As above for this last verse.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


Please let me know if you have any further questions!

Thanks!

Post A Comment | 16 Comments | | Flag | Link






S-47/19-J
User: shsilver
Date: 2010-03-18 00:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Brillig! Frabjous!
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southernweirdo
User: southernweirdo
Date: 2010-03-18 00:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Haha! :)
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Keith R.A. DeCandido: crazed writer
User: kradical
Date: 2010-03-18 01:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:crazed writer
*falls over laughing*
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
User: pauljessup
Date: 2010-03-18 12:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't think that was his point. It was supposed to be funny, and a smart jab at over editing. Not a "OMG LITERATURE IS BEING DESTROYED"

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silvertwi
User: silvertwi
Date: 2010-03-18 01:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*giggles* Oh dear. I love this.
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Patrick Nielsen Hayden
User: pnh
Date: 2010-03-18 02:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, those stupid, laughable copyeditors. Who don't get Real Art. Hilarious!
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-03-18 02:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I love my copy editors, personally...
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User: pauljessup
Date: 2010-03-18 12:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
my copy editors keep me from looking like an idiot :) I have the spelling of a third grader, and a high vocabulary. It leads to some strange typos.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
User: pnh
Date: 2010-03-18 14:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Stupidity is endless.
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Wiredwizard: Plot Guru V2.0 (onetimeoffer)
User: wiredwizard
Date: 2010-03-18 03:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Plot Guru V2.0 (onetimeoffer)
=lol= Reminds me of comments I'd write proofreading friends' essays in Uni. (A lot of 'em made as much sense as Jabberwocky too.)
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2010-03-18 06:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Dodson apparently came up with this whilst walking along a hill range a couple of miles to the south of where I live.

I can confirm that the borogroves are indeed all mimsy.

[I also have the site of the War Of The World's Invasion about 3 miles to the East, Watership Down, about 25 miles North West, and based on the train stations mentioned in the book, I'm the most likely location for Little Whinging. There are also various places between here and Oxford some 30-40 miles North that seem suspicious - Buckleberry doesn't have a Ferry, but it does have a ford)
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manmela
User: manmela
Date: 2010-03-18 06:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Dodson apparently came up with this whilst walking along a hill range a couple of miles to the south of where I live.

I can confirm that the borogroves are indeed all mimsy.

[I also have the site of the War Of The World's Invasion about 3 miles to the East, Watership Down, about 25 miles North West, and based on the train stations mentioned in the book, I'm the most likely location for Little Whinging. There are also various places between here and Oxford some 30-40 miles North that seem suspicious - Buckleberry doesn't have a Ferry, but it does have a ford)
Reply | Thread | Link



fledgist
User: fledgist
Date: 2010-03-18 10:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The problem, Jay, is that your editor misunderstood Lew's brilliant translation from the original German:

Es brillig war. Die schlichte Toven
Wirrten und wimmelten in Waben;
Und aller-mümsige Burggoven
Die mohmen Räth' ausgraben.

»Bewahre doch vor Jammerwoch!
Die Zähne knirschen, Krallen kratzen!
Bewahr' vor Jubjub-Vogel, vor
Frumiösen Banderschntzchen!«

Er griff sein vorpals Schwertchen zu,
Er suchte lang das manchsan' Ding;
Dann, stehend unterm Tumtum Baum,
Er an-zu-denken-fing.

Als stand er tief in Andacht auf,
Des Jammerwochen's Augen-feuer
Durch tulgen Wald mit Wiffek kam
Ein burbelnd Ungeheuer!

Eins, Zwei! Eins, Zwei! Und durch und durch
Sein vorpals Schwert zerschnifer-schnück,
Da blieb es todt! Er, Kopf in Hand,
Geläumfig zog zurück.

»Und schlugst Du ja den Jammerwoch?
Umarme mich, mien Böhm'sches Kind!
O Freuden-Tag! O Halloo-Schlag!«
Er schortelt froh-gesinnt.

Es brillig war. Die schlichte Toven
Wirrten und wimmelten in Waben;
Und aller-mümsige Burggoven
Die mohmen Räth' ausgraben.
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ulfhirtha
User: ulfhirtha
Date: 2010-03-18 14:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
:-)

Reminds me of Desi Arnez's reading of it on SNL long ago, also making little interjections of bafflement
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paulcarp: pic#65586584
User: paulcarp
Date: 2010-03-19 00:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:pic#65586584
This post has been flagged, and will be held pending review by Administrator. Possible promotion of consumption of alcohol by minors at "beamish boy".
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zachariahskylab
User: zachariahskylab
Date: 2010-03-21 19:00 (UTC)
Subject: In the same vein
A Letter to a Young, Naïve Poet

My Dear Mr. Rilke,
            Yr email only just reached me this afternoon. Thank you so very much for adding to my already heavy workload. I don’t have the time, nor can I very much be bothered to go into the nature of your verses although if you send me a twenty dollar check I can give you an in depth analysis and criticism of your work. Poetry, you see, is like everything else, and is easily understood and analyzed by someone like myself, a PhD in literature.
            After these prefatory marks let me only say that your poetry shows much too much individuality, they too often stray from the technique and style perfected by modern poetry workshops. Furthermore they seem to me to be too personal, too intimate- your own wants, and something of yourself, are coming through in the words and rhythms of your poems. But still, they’re pretty good, I guess.
            You tell me you are searching inside of yourself and trying to dig down into the deepest roots of your heart. You tell me you ask yourself in the stillest hour of night: ‘must I write?’ You have a sense of desperation and urgency to write. You draw near to nature, taking long walks and trying to describe what you see and experience- as if you were the first human being ever to live! Absurd! I must beg you now to give all that up.
            You are looking too inward, and that is something that must be avoided. You ask me if your verses are any good. And it’s good that you ask me. But I don’t have the time or the inclination to help a self-absorbed schmuck like you..
   You should attend a local poetry workshop and ask them. You should attend as many poetry workshops as possible. You should fill up your time at poetry workshops and when you absolutely cannot attend any more, you should buy “how-to” books on poetry. I know this sounds expensive, but it’s worth it. Only you must not trust yourself, or your own taste in poetry, no matter how deeply your amateurish appreciation goes. If you work hard enough, perhaps someday you too may run your own poetry workshop.
            If however, you find yourself in a boring town, surrounded by uninteresting people, living among the blassé masses of the working class, then I encourage you to move to a more artistic, enlightened city, like New York or somewhere on the East coast, and although I can hardly recommend the West coast to anyone, it’s certainly better than anywhere in between. Most importantly, it’s necessary to become published. I recommend submitting your poetry to “Poetry.com.” Basically you need to accrue a couple publishing credits for yourself, then you can begin to teach others how to write. Although it may sound like a pyramid scheme, I assure you it is not.
            If a career in poetry is too hard, or seems daunting, there are plenty of lucrative careers in which the skills you develop in workshops and poetry classes will help, such as Accounting, Used Car Salesmanship, and Poker. In any case, you’ll have to discover a way to market yourself, which is what life is all about anyways.
            The poems you sent me are going through the shredder as we speak. Remember it’s not the words themselves, but how you market them. I have tried my best to answer the questions you sent me as honestly as I can, with the wealth of experience I have in the modern poetry market. Please send all subsequent correspondence to my secretary.                                                                   
                            Yours Faithfully and with all sympathy,
                            Dr. Zachariah Thomas McNaughton
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