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Editing Sarah Palin

One of my co-workers, someone who does plenty of editing, told me about this Vanity Fair Web-exclusive piece.

If you watched Sarah Palin’s resignation speech, you know one thing: her high-priced speechwriters moved back to the Beltway long ago. Just how poorly constructed was the governor’s holiday-weekend address? We asked V.F.’s red-pencil-wielding executive literary editor, Wayne Lawson, together with representatives from the research and copy departments, to whip it into publishable shape. Here is the colorful result.

The result is certainly colorful. It also provides some useful editorial reminders/pointers.

Still, I don’t necessarily agree with all of the editors’ decisions. For instance, starting several consecutive sentences with the same word can be an effective stylistic choice. (On the other hand, there’s no need to emphasize your honesty by declaring that you’ve been speaking “candidly, truthfully.” Score one for the editors there.)

By the way, to keep things fair, I’d be happy to read and link to anything similar concerning a speech given by a Democratic politican. Please share!

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