Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Channelling Joan

Not Joan Holloway, although she does have some of the best curves on television. And some of the best lines:
"I can't wait until next year when all of you are in Vietnam. You will be pining for the day when someone was trying to make your life easier. When you're over there, and you're in the jungle and they're shooting at you, remember you're not dying for me, because I never liked you."
No, I'm thinking Joan Armatrading, who many years ago provided me with one of my favourite mantras: Don't use your army to fight a losing battle.

I am walking away from my quest to eradicate the use of 'best practice'. In my line of work, as in most (I would argue) there is no best practice. It's all about context. There is good practice, but claiming 'bestness' implies you've got it nailed. And you have never got it nailed -- you could always do it better, and even if you did it nigh-on perfectly, if you did the same thing next time it wouldn't be as good, because next time will be different.

For years I have been red-penning or track-changing 'best', and changing it to 'good'. But I've had enough. It isn't even 'best practice' anymore, it's 'best practices'. People want to share best practices with me. I want to say What does that even mean? Nothing, that's what. Go away and come back when you make sense.

But I'm going to get over it. I'm tasking myself with a do-it.




Blogger Ben said...

Don't give me your best practices, just your bestest.

"Enables" is my particular bugbear, and its idiot mutant brother "allows". What's wrong with "lets"?

The other day my editing skills were praised with the words "you really pulled the pearls out of the swine."

8:54 am  
Anonymous jonathan said...

I think I am mostly impressed that you are able to use the 'Track Changes' facility, which still completely flummoxes me and I have quite given up trying to fight with, in a tactical withdrawal which I trust Joan Armatrading would be proud of.

5:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! It's Nov. 5.


11:44 am  
Blogger Jo said...

Ben: if I have a particular bugbear, it has to be "going forwards". It's either entirely redundant or if you do want to mark a change, you can say "from now on". I haven't walked away from that one yet.

Jonathan: I have no option but to engage with Track Changes. It's more fun if you use the options to make your changes a strange colour that freaks people out.

Steve: yes! I am listening to Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste and staring out the window of the New Building.

3:26 pm  
Anonymous Helen said...

Growing a business always gets my goat. Growing transitively. Yeuch.

As for track changes? I HATE track changes. If you ask me to edit something, then I will (if you pay me). You don't need to track my changes: mine version is better.

She said, moderately.

10:39 pm  
Anonymous Helen said...

Better, but not perfect! I blame the Friday night wine and the lateness of the hour … you may wish to see my typo as the inevitable outcome of hubris, or an illustration of the absolute need to proof everything *ever so carefully*.

10:48 pm  
Blogger Jo said...

Ah, but technically, these are not editing changes. These are commenting changes. Which are usually also editing changes, but political sensitivities require their disguising as 'it might sound a bit better like this, and I just made a few minor changes to your spelling, grammar and punctuation because I'm a bit obsessive about these things. Feel free not to accept any of my suggestions'.

Just making the changes would be seen as an act of naked aggression. Though there are times when I don't care and that's what I do. Going forward, I need to grow my tolerance.

2:42 pm  
Anonymous Helen said...

I certainly need to grow the pathetic shoot of tolerance that is struggling in the barren earth of my soul.

And I try. I try. I try not to winge on about illiteracies springing from the body that is 'educating' my children. I try. Just not with any real hope of success.

10:43 pm  

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