Editing a festival review of an Irish-themed musical festival with the sentence, “On the main stage, Hootie & the Blowfish—the very name of which evokes a sudden desire to yawn and move on to the next article—rigidly jammed through a version of ‘Black Magic Woman’ that seemed longer than the lines for the Portosans” . . .
COPYEDITOR: I just don’t think it works.
What’s wrong with it?
COPYEDITOR: The last few words.
They don’t make sense to you?
COPYEDITOR: The mandate here is not meaning and content, which is fine, but taste.
What if I said longer than the line at the Guinness tent?
COPYEDITOR: That’s fine.
But that’s perpetuating an Irish stereotype. Isn’t that worse?
COPYEDITOR: Maybe, but it’s acceptable.