University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Comment: Watch out for your storyline...

The University Post should pull its socks up. This is according to a literary editor and international spouse in Copenhagen

Dear Editor,

As your named source and ‘an untapped resource’, I would like to spill some of my editorial wisdom.

When I taught composition and stylistics in Poland, we would pay attention not only to the headings, but also to the subheadings of the analysed text. Subheadings help the reader to grasp the gist of the story. If one wants to quickly scan the text (for example, to decide whether to read on), one focuses on the bullet points of its subheadings.

Were we to deduce the main storyline from your subheadings of the article on spouses of the international researchers employed by the University of Copenhagen, you yourself would be taken aback: ‘Jealous wives too old to do waitressing…’ Surely, this argument contradicts the one you wanted to put forward.

As a literary editor wishing to share my expertise, I would advise more imaginative caution. This also concerns the use of direct speech, so-called testimony. I would never have used the phrase you attributed to me: ‘The fact of the matter is…’ As a matter of fact, it is plain bad style. More respect for the quotation marks, please.

Ela Wójcik-Leese
literary editor and international spouse (not jealous and not too old)

Read the article with the offending subheaders here.