by Rachel Smith
08 June 2018
I was just eating lunch with a friend who was telling me a lovely story about how he MC’ed a friend’s wedding.
“The speeches were ridiculously long,” he began, “so I made them all hand over their speeches before we started that part of the night, and I edited them right down to 5 minutes long apiece.”
Oh, the vision of cranky, on-the-warpath bridesmaids who’d spent hours on their speeches only to have a disgruntled writer slash the waffle with his red pen. I could picture it now: him saying sternly, ‘What’s this bit here for? This isn’t about you – it’s about the bride and groom, so that story about you and your husband can go… nope, no one wants to know that funny anecdote about your kids… that bit is just irrelevant… oh, and I’m cutting a few lines from the end here…’
“Was I wrong to do that?” He wondered, probably because I was laughing so hard I had nearly fallen off my chair.
But at the end of the day, I’m no better, really. I nearly started a side business approaching restaurants and cafes offering to fix up the grammatical errors and typos in their signs and menus, because I figured I was doing it so often while eating there, I may as well make it official and get paid for it.
(Then I realised most hospitality owners just didn’t care like I did, and would probably laugh me out of their restaurant / cafe / shop / pop-up takeaway caravan / etc, so I canned the idea).
I wouldn’t go so far as to edit down someone’s speech at a wedding (my friend is particularly pedantic, even spelling out ‘you’ instead of using ‘u’ in text messages), but here are things I do confess to tweaking constantly. It’s a curse, I tell you.
Do you mentally edit everything you come across?