Post by Lucy Metzger
Have you seen the Python sketch (episode 9) in which Michael Palin is a barber who is clearly disturbed and constantly almost on the point of stabbing his client, while trying to restrain himself? The client (Terry Jones) just wants a haircut.
Barber [later] I’ve finished cutting … cutting … cutting your hair. It’s all done.
An experienced colleague told me ‘You can cut anything by ten per cent’. (One time when I couldn’t sleep I tried to work out if you could go on doing this and have anything left. You approach zero pretty fast.) I tend to cut my own writing obsessively. You have no idea how long this post was before I posted it. Sometimes I feel I should just let myself write and leave it, but then I spot a word I don’t need … and another …
I bet YOU could cut this post by ten per cent.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lucy Metzger is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader, working mostly in teaching materials and academic and reference books, and a member of the Glasgow SfEP group. She is also the vice-chair of the SfEP.