Wednesday, April 24, 2024

I am still the family copy editor

I want to ask the AI Blog Post Image Generator why it thinks the woman (it's presumably a woman) holding the red pen in this image only painted half her thumbnail. Still, as you'll see if you scroll to the bottom of this post, it could have been a lot worse.

Every family has at least one person to whom everyone else goes when they have written something they want proofread.

"It's a 200-word statement for a scholarship. Can you look it over and fix the mistakes, and maybe jazz it up a little?"

I used to regularly receive requests of this sort from my kids when they were in school. Now these assignments are less frequent, but they still occur. Recently, for example, Chloe asked me to spruce up a few paragraphs she wrote as part of an application for an academic prize related to her PhD program.

Actually she asked both me and her older sister Elissa. Elissa is a professional marketer and has always been a great writer and editor. Jared also makes his living with words and can be counted on to clean up your copy in a pinch.

We don't have any bad writers in the family, but there's a tendency, when one of your siblings is in the trade, to doubt your own ability and ask a professional to help.

I will admit I may have rewritten a couple of the kids' scholarship essays over the years in an attempt to take them from "good" to "very good." Or even "money-worthy."

NOTE: As I recall, both of the essays I rewrote resulted in the child receiving a scholarship. I should have asked for a cut.

If you aren't the person who handles proofreading chores in your household, you should write a thank-you note to whomever fills that role.

Make sure you read it over very closely before you give it to them, though.

EXTRA NOTE: Every time I ask the AI Blog Post Image Generator to come up with an illustration for one of my posts, I have it create a few possibilities from which I can choose. Following is the second image it spit out in response to the one-word prompt "Proofreader." I...I don't know what to say. The tiny red pen is somewhat amusing, but the outsized thumb is borderline terrifying. This is what I get for using a free and unproven AI image tool.

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