Game of the Month: Editing Test
Here at CR we have an arduous training process for our new volunteers. We ask them to perform feats of physical strength and stamina, like doing sprints with heavy stacks of the current issue on their heads and standing atop a teeny platform for a really, really long time (the latter we stole from Survivor, but we think it’s important for our purposes, too). After that we test their balance and reflexes by having them walk a nine-foot-high balance beam while dodging banana peels and sandwich crusts left over from our lunches.
After they’re sufficiently covered in residual banana goo, we ask them to do still more rigorous things like opening the mail, juggling information within our various databases, and of course, processing submissions. They also participate in meetings about editing, production, marketing, and advanced paper-cut avoidance.
If they make it that far, we ask them to take our editing test, so they can judge their aptitudes for things like spelling, grammar, and judicious rephrasing. And now, readers, we’re inviting you to join the fun! (Balance beam excluded.) Take a gander at a small portion of our test below and correct the punctuation and grammar problems. The first five people to answer all correctly will get to choose a prize (free issue, free thermos, or free slingback—all emblazoned with CR’s handsome logo).
Submit your answers via comment by next Wednesday, September 28. We’ll close the contest either on that date or upon receiving five sets of correct answers. To comment, just click on the post title above.
One more thing: We think your editing skills should come from within—sort of like the samurai spirit in martial arts movies—so we ask that you take the test without consulting the Internet. (Besides, do you want to find out how good your editing skills are, or do you want to spend the next hour scouring grammar message boards? Hmm? Hmm?)
Correct the punctuation and grammar problems in the following sentences. Note that some sentences may be correct (we’re tricky like that).
- Tamar had grown up on a little, native, banana plantation.
- Jeff wasn’t feeling well so he went home and laid down.
- The situation is grim but, if we are prepared to act promptly, there is still one chance for escape.
- The gates swung apart, the bridge fell, the portcullis was drawn up.
- He is one of the ablest scientists who has attacked this problem.
- Among the five Gerry Bryant is the candidate, whom we hope will win.
- The ranger offered Shirley and him advice on several campsites.
- Surely, you’ve heard the phrase, “Keeping up with the Jones’s?”