Editing the Editor’s Headline

Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

The headline read: I Just Rejected 90% of Writer Submissions for the Same Reason — Don’t let correctness issues get in the way by Pamala Hazelton

From Oxford English Dictionary:

“Just: Exactly, precisely; verily, actually; closely: cf. even adv. Qualifying a preposition, adverb, or adverbial phrase; or an adjective, pronoun, or noun. Of place or position. just at, in, over (etc.) The very, just to, right up to, even to, as far as to; just to the, to the very.

Your headline, ma’am, makes for awkward phrasing. Try: “I just rejected one more,” or “I have rejected 90 %,” or “I expect to reject 90 %,” or “in total I have rejected 90 %.” You didn’t ‘just’ reject 90 % and if you did, how many did you ‘just’ review? Speed reading again, eh? Either the verb tense is wrong, or the modifier ought be deleted.

Just saying.

And might it have read better with an apostrophe after Writer? Of course, you just might have meant “I only rejected 90%,” which would be a low percentage for the publishing industry. Hmm. But you missed kicking the cat to follow up with a rant on book publishers, which is always guaranteed to get a chorus of ‘amens’ from writers everywhere.

On an open-to-the-world site (sight?) such as Medium, I imagine there are some doozies. I’ve been gobsmacked by a few. But you’re not in Kansas anymore — yer in the mosh pit now — like being in the army without having your head shaved (the art of a good ramble being able to know when to quit).

PS: According to OED, the second, currently popular definition of ‘correctness’ is:

“Conformation to a dominant political or ideological orthodoxy: in Communist China, adherence to Maoist doctrine (now chiefly hist.). In recent (chiefly N. Amer.) use, ellipt. for political correctness; hence with other defining terms, as eco-correctness, environmental correctness, etc.”

From OED

To correct this, you just needed a modifier to be clear… And, yes, it was the nuns’ fault I turned out like I did, their hating on me and all.




A practicing writer and architect, he is now squandering hours making a mess from writing.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Begin First English Blog


Plot and Outline Fiction in Minutes

Why the Internet is Turning Us All Into Germans

Online Courses Sell False Dreams to Fools

How Facebook Group Numbers Show Us How Ineffective They Are

From “Just Reading” to Reading for Writing

‘Bridezilla’ Refuses to Let Stepson Honor Late Mother at Wedding

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Bill Evans

Bill Evans

A practicing writer and architect, he is now squandering hours making a mess from writing.

More from Medium

A Pakistani Folktale from the Lower Indus

Mr. Beast and I are best friends who’re going to save the world, trust me bro

And That’s a Wrap!