A colleague shared this great term for an affliction common in the corporate world: source remorse editing. That’s when you get a terrific, meaningful, human quote from someone for a corporate use, say a newsletter. During the approval process, your contact sees this wonderful quote, thinks it doesn’t make him/her sound clever and capable, and turns it into something very pompous and formal.
Given a chance, I argue for humanizing it, but that doesn’t always work. At the very least, though, I turn “utilize” into “use” and will fight particularly hard to dispose of “win-win” or it’s evil near-twin, “win-win-win.” Who’s ready to join me?
Brilliant term, Sue. Love it. As writers and editors, we often win very small battles. During a recent editing stint with a major Canadian bank, I considered it a good day if I could eliminate the passive voice in 50 per cent of the copy that came my way. That, and eliminating the phrase, “back in” (as in “back in 2005”)made it an even better day.
And they are on-going battles, aren’t they? I haven’t noticed “back in” so much but I will keep an eye out for it — thanks for the warning!