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.
charliewright27@gmail.com

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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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