Rantings of a sub-editor

June 4, 2010

Sorry your leaving, and other sub-par tidings

Filed under: Charlie Wright,guest writers — substuff @ 8:03 am

So farewell, Substuff, we hardly knew ye.

Actually, after two years that’s not strictly true – and you can tell a lot about a person from their punctuation peccadilloes.

Apropos of nothing – the etiquette of good luck cards for departing subs.

When is a typo a charmingly idiosyncratic signifier of spontaneity – and when is it lazy writing that undermines the goodwill of a heartfelt greeting?

Presumably the sender of a ‘Sorry your leaving’ message is immediately deleted from the contacts book. The same goes for anyone hoping that ‘the new roll’ works out well.

Is a ‘Good luck!!!?!’ tiding inherently more likely to bestow positive career-karma than with a single exclamation point? Or does it simply invite the red pen?

‘We’ll miss u!’ Really? Then spell out the whole word. Y-o-u. Wasn’t so hard, was it?

And kisses: upper case or lower? Is a capped-up ‘X’ the equivalent of drunkenly slobbering on a horrified colleague at the office party? Does one determine how many ‘kisses’ are appropriate solely on your affection for a person – or from respect for their love of the grammatical?

There’s a time and a place for wacky punctuation: never and nowhere, respectively, and certainly not in the leaving card of a departing sub.

I hope some day Substuff will find time to whip out the red pen and correct the numerous errors we’ve put in her fare-thee-well card, just like the old days.

And good luck in the nu job!!!!!!!!!!! J xx !!

Charlie Wright is a journalist, author, blogger, ironicist, part-time sub, full-time beard-wearer and bringer of great joy to the little peoples of the world. He spends most of his time making cruel puns about stuff no balanced mind would care about.


1 Comment »

  1. Best subbing-related comment in a card I saw (I stress I did not write it) was in a get well card for a former subbing colleague who was recovering from surgery on bowel cancer:

    “I hear your colon has been amended to a semi-colon”

    Fortunately, the recipient was the sort of person who found that funny…

    Comment by Paddy — June 4, 2010 @ 2:12 pm | Reply

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