I’m a member of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES). I spent several days in Pittsburgh for their annual conference. For months I have been participating in their #ACESChat every other week. I was so excited to meet my copy editor friends in the physical real, so excited to discuss grammar, editing, and inclusionary language. ACES 2015 did not disappoint. It was like living my favorite dream for three days.
These are my people.
It was a sentiment that rang from every session, swept through the halls, and surged from the chests of all the attendees. Copy editors, are notoriously introverted. We spend most of our days in cubicles and offices, alone, reading, writing, reading about writing, and writing about reading. We are often surrounded by people who do not understand how much we love the English language.
But — for three glorious days — we are engulfed by people who get it.
For three days, we didn’t have to hide our nerdiness. For three days, we didn’t have to explain what “decompress” means or why we need to do it every day. We were free to love language and punctuation and there were no apologies necessary. In fact, we reveled in it.
We went to war over Oxford comma usage.
We did a collective forehead slap in response to the AP Style Guide changes, which felt the need to overhaul their stance on sports writing, but completely neglected to address at all their stance on writing about communities of color and queer communities.
We collectively fangirled over grammar rock stars like Kory Stamper (@korystamper); she can read old and middle English, and The Chicago Style Hulk (@manualofhulk), who tweets in Hulk speak, which they call Hulkish. Neither of whom realize just how cool they are and why all the rest of us think they are rock stars. Seriously, go look them up. They are amazing.
We plotted on how to convince our editors to use more sensitive and inclusionary language.
We were featured in BuzzFeed because Emmy Favilla, the copy chief there, is one of us and wrote an article about our grammar pet peeves. Read it here.
I’m so glad I went. I look forward to implementing everything I learned.
To all my friends, see you in Portland!