Retroactive Editorial Policy

editorial policy

“Let me make it clear to you
This is what we’ll never do.”

It really doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to spell:
You’ll find that many readers understand you just as well;
And once the spelling’s gone to pot, why then I rather guess
It doesn’t really matter if your syntax is a mess;
But not in my journal.

You really needn’t worry that it’s all been said before,
Since checking out the sources can be an awful bore.
And don’t be very troubled if you seem to plagiarize:
If you copy something really good, you just might win a prize;
But not in my journal.

We often see that authors, even those whose work is strong.
They sometimes go too far and say a thing or two that’s wrong.
You needn’t worry very hard about a stray mistake:
If you can fool the referee, what difference does it make?
But not in my journal.

Oh, inspiration’s wonderful, but second thoughts are best,
And don’t you think we must have made those silly rules in jest?
You seekers for perfection, who’ve made an utter goof,
You’ll have a chance to fix it up: rewrite in galley proof;
But not in my journal.

— R. P. Boas, cited in John Ewing (Ed.), A Century of MathematicsThrough the Eyes of the Monthly, 1994

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About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at learnfunfacts.com. You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkLaw and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com
This entry was posted in Humor, Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Retroactive Editorial Policy

  1. secundsite says:

    Edmark, you had me right away because really itt doesn’t mater if anyone knows how to spell all the tyme, time; for as long as tyme goes on, tymes change but people don’t, we all differ thank very much; and we shouldn’t let words rule the day after all, all the words in the world don’t matter half as much as what lies beneath them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Abigail says:

    This should be the motto/policy of all publications. An amazing quantity of incompetent writing is published left and right. Alas.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The author did an excellent job on this poem.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. masercot says:

    I don’t care what you have to say
    it makes no difference anyway
    whatever it is, I’m against it.
    No matter how you shorten or condense it
    I’m against it.

    — Groucho Marx (Horsefeathers)

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Suyash says:

    Nicely written.
    The point where the phrase comes about spelling is wrong and syntax then doesn’t matter.

    Liked by 2 people

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