Friday, March 23, 2007

Editing and Ice Cream

Many years ago, I participated in an editing contest at work. (For those who don't know, I work at a publishing company.) The prize was a Subway gift certificate, and the goal of the contest was to see who could best edit a single sentence and correctly identify all the errors therein. To my surprise, I won. (This probably has something to do with the fact that all the professional editors were barred from the contest.) Aside from pinning down most of the grammatical errors, I was the only participant that actually did any fact-checking — turns out that a major premise presented in the material was false, and my entry was praised above all others for catching that.

Returning to the present day, as I've been working with Deborah to go over the text of YKYAMKW for the next printing, one item caught my eye:

271. You get excited about ice cream, but think that Baskin Robbins might be a legal firm, Häagen Dazs a European conductor, and TCBY a mission organization (Taking Christ’s Blessing to Youth).
Now, aside from some punctuation issues, it's always bothered me that I'd never even heard of TCBY as a missions organization. TCBY frozen yogurt, yes — I'd had it twice, back in California, with the LACC youth group — but missions, no. I always thought it was a weird name, anyway. So, after having this entry in the book for over ten years now, I decided to look it up.

Guess what?

It doesn't exist!

Or, maybe, it did, and it was so obscure that there's no mention of it anywhere on the web outside of YKYAMKW. Have you ever heard of it? Have I been duped for over a decade into thinking this was a real organization? I would dearly like to know.

In the meantime, I wonder what I should do... leave it as it is? Found a missions organization by that same name? Make up an alternate ending involving Ben and Jerry, those obnoxious twins from the other dorm? Go have some ice cream....? Hmm, I answered my own question...


Carolina Kerr said...

TCBY seems similar to YWAM, Youth With a Mission. You may not recognize it because in Spain it is called JCUM (Juventud Con Una Misión). Leave the entry in the YKYAMKW book. It's funny.

By the way, check your post a bit. At the end of the first paragraph you say "MAY entry was praised", but perhaps you meant to say "MY".

Jonadab said...

The way I have always read it, these were off-base guesses someone would make who didn't know, similar to getting the sport wrong when someone mentions a popular team. Are you suggesting that Baskin Robbins really is a legal firm, and Haagen Dazs a conductor, and that only Taking Christ's Blessings to Youth is imaginary?

Andy said...

By the way, check your post a bit. At the end of the first paragraph you say "MAY entry was praised", but perhaps you meant to say "MY".

Congratulations! You passed the test. Would you like a job as a proofreader? We haven't had any proofreading or editing staff for this blog since 9/26/06.