"Web site" vs. "website" has been the topic of much recent debate on newspaper-copy-editor Web sites/websites. The Associated Press Stylebook, which sort of governs news writing style, recently changed "Web site" to "website." Here's one assessment of the change, which appears to have been made because tech types have been ridiculing "Web site" as outdated as the usage "Twitter, an onoline social media site ...."
Most newsrooms hailed the change to one word, while other leading lights in the industry derided it and vowed to stick to two words in defiance of the AP style standard,
Has the Chicago Manual Of Style weighed in on this? My copy is old and so I'm not up to date.
I tend to take the copy-editor's word that I've buggered something up. I went through school when they were experimenting with holistic English, and thus never learnt proper grammar. I'm glad that there are people who can correct my many errors.
However, I would like to say that I agonise over every bloody word that goes into my MS. I spend hours - days - going through word by word until I know that I have it sounding just the way I like it. So when an editor comes along with a scapel and starts shredding my prose it can be disheartening. It's almost as if they're saying that my ear isn't as good as theirs' and that I have no business writing because I never learnt the rules.
In summary: correcting errors = good. Changing the prose so that it sounds the way the sub would have written it = bad.
Educators' buzz word a few years ago. You basically don't pay attention to details in "holistic" methods, but rather consider the thing as a whole. We used to do holistic grading of placement essays. One of the few places where this actually works. You don't have time to look closely. You just get an overall impression of the thing. (Of course, subject-verb agreement errors ring a warning bell and tend to overshadow other aspects -- not that there are other aspects when the basics aren't there).
Again, a manuscript should have a story editor and a copy editor. The story editor should deal with the "changing the prose" issues WITH the writer. The copy editor should do detailed line-editing ONLY after the story editing is complete. The writer should then get one more pass at the MS, and then a proofreader should step in. The writer can then chase anything he or disagrees with in the proofing stage come galley time.
A story editor and a copy editor, in my opinion, should never be the same person. It calls on separate skills and separate sides of the brain.
In newspapers, it's understood that with few exceptions, photographers can't write and writers' can't take photographs. There are exceptions to this rule, but the scarcity exceptions tend to prove the rule. In fact, the best newspaper writers I know take the crappiest photographs when called upon to do so, and the best best shooters I've worked with tend to write the most inarticulate cutlines imaginable. Almost nobody has a professional-level balance of both skills.
Totally agree about the editors. Outside the publishing world it's possible to do both in small instalments, but copy-editing a ms. is a major picky sort of job and tends to require all your attention so that the big (holistic) aspects of the storytelling (organization, focus, misplaced scenes, etc) fade into the background.
It isnt that Jessica it is you are not writing for yourself and when you write to others there has been accepted ways to make the writer's prose not stumble, not interrupt the reader's enjoyment of the story by making him or her stop and notice something they might think improper, like the isnt at the top where I stubbornly refuse to put in an apostrophe where I dont think one is needed. Cormic McCarthy writes this way and gets away with it while us lesser writers do not.