Listen, Mr. Kansas Law Dog. Law Don’t Go Around Here. Savvy?

Tombstone is a good movie. It just is. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, shootouts at the OK Corral, in Tombstone, a town I used to visit as a child. I ate breakfast at the saloon I think. My grandpa scammed waitresses out of extra condiments.

Tombstone ends with a line about Wyatt Earp's funeral, saying Tom Mix was a pallbearer, and Tom Mix wept. Well, after Tombstone, Val Kilmer aged badly. And I wept.

Anyway, the quote is said by Ike Clanton, played by Stephen Lang, who most of us know as the rugged military man who fights CGI blue people in movies, and the rugged military man who fights CGI dinosaurs on TV. And it has something to do with this post, besides encouraging people to use the word "savvy" more often, which you totally should.

When Ike lays down the rules to Wyatt Earp, you can tell that Wyatt would like to tell him to shut the fuck up. But he doesn't. He's surrounded by Cowboys, and he's new in town, so he implies he could give a crap about the law, and let's play cards.

When I was first presented with copy edits, way back on Sleepwalk Society, I reacted similarly. Only without wanting to tell my copy editor to shut the eff up. That's just in the movie. The small press and everyone involved was great. But in the first few pages of the manuscript, the copy editor had taken out most of my contractions. I can't remember why. I think they thought they were overused. But whether they were or not, I disagreed. But I let it go. I didn't know what a STET was. I didn't know I could say no, and to leave it as is.

So the early pages of that novel are filled with instances of "I am" and "it is", even though I knew good and well that the sentence "I am going to the market" is not the same sentence as "I'm going to the market." "It is a shame" is not the same as "It's a shame."

The point is, in the end, they're our books. I don't know why I'm mentioning this now. Maybe because I happened to flip through the first few pages of a copy of Sleepwalk Society last week and it bugged the bejeezus out of me. And I need all my bejeezus. I should note that this is all my fault. Nobody strong armed me. If I wanted it left, I just had to speak up. But I didn't, and now I get to be irritated with myself.

OTHER NEWS: I think I might giveaway some stuff on this journal. Which is weird. I never do that. Give me a week or so to think about it, and there may be a few brand new red things up for grabs.

3 thoughts on “Listen, Mr. Kansas Law Dog. Law Don’t Go Around Here. Savvy?

    1. kendare_blake

      That’s the thing that you write next to an edit that means you don’t accept the edit and want the text to remain as was. Of course I don’t actually STET. I do it all on track changes in Word 🙂

      Reply

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