As a proud member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), I've been attending its conferences ever since I became self-employed. I've just returned from this year's conference refreshed, reinvigorated and absolutely exhausted. They're a fabulous way of connecting with other editorial professionals and embedding my continuing professional development. Basically, I spent three days chatting to my friends and sometimes learning stuff.
All conferences have their obscure traditions, and one of the SfEP's traditions is for a choir of members to sing about editing at the gala dinner. I know that sounds weird but bear with me. New lyrics are set to an out-of-copyright tune each year, and this time I turned my muse to the challenge, in the form of a psalm. The choir performed it brilliantly and the audience laughed in the right places, which was a relief. So here, by popular demand, are the lyrics, which are not, of course, based on any situation or person, living or dead...
[Tune 1, minor key]
1. Deep from my desk have I sworn about you, O Word : You crashed when I forgot to save you.
2. I cry out into the darkness : Why did I take this job?
3. Blessed is the editor who resteth at close of day : With all their work complete.
4. My time fleeth into the night : Tonight the deadline looms; caffeine is my only friend.
5. For the author loved the text box tool and used it well : Along with Comic Sans.
6. I am stuck fast in the deep mire of poor grammar : I must hack through the dark forest of comma splices and errant semicolons before weariness overcomes me.
7. I am become a stranger unto my family : Even an alien unto my unkempt children.
8. I am become feral and my office is as a wilderness : Why did I take this job?
[Tune 2, minor key]
9. Save my work! : For now the proofs have come in : Which were due last week.
10. I must download the mighty PDFs : And gird myself to wrangle reams of typeset tosh.
11. For while this book has suffered reproof after reproof : Its press date draws not nigh.
12. And lo! Now I must mark up the longest sentence I have ever seen, which has no clear content no comma no colon no full point nor any point at all as far as I can tell except to confound me in my state of trouble and to vex me to new levels of vexation immeasurable as it goes on and on and on until the end of time or maybe even longer : A bit like this job.
13. I am weary of reading, my eyes are dry: My sight faileth me for working so long upon these proofs.
14. The rates are low and my spirits lower: Again, I say, why did I take this job?
15. O yes, I was flattered when the client emailed unto me : When they said it was me and only me in whom they put their trust.
16. Why did I believe them when they said it was an easy job? : I should have been suspicious when someone said: “Do you know this client? PM me” in the forums.
[Tune 3, major key]
17. And yet. There is a strange beauty in the ordering of text : A sense of satisfaction when that tricky phrase untangles.
18. Guiding the typescript from darkness into light is a joy beyond riches : Which is just as well because the client has lost my invoice.
19. Glory be to PerfectIt and to Saint Google : and to EAE Backroom.
20. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be : Work without end. Amen.
My book review blog: Ju's Reviews