Professional Standards

September 2nd, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

You can’t practice medicine without a license. Or rather, you can, but it’s best not to get caught. Same for cutting hair. One must be board certified and reasonably trained in basic hygiene. Now, law, well, it’s all a matter of charming the jury. No need for formal schooling or that sort of thing. Truly, if one can represent oneself, why go to the bother of law school. So many tests, so many sleepless nights…

We’ve noted the fact that anyone can declare themself a writer. The tools are easily purchased, the skills are taught in public schools, and there are certainly enough examples of how it should be done. Yet, like medicine, there is so much potential for abuse. Misplaced modifiers, dangling participles, sentence fragments. We simply don’t understand how anyone can ignore the rules and say they write.

Oops. Did we forget a verb? Well, even professionals need caffeine.

We offer up this article in favor of allowing only professional writers to do the heavy lifting of the writing world (he doesn’t make an exception for grocery lists, but that, perhaps, should be a given). However, before his proposal is implemented, we will demand a standards board to review the hierarchy of writers. Of course we see novelists at the top of the heap, but we’ve always had a soft spot for essayists, and hate to see them relegated to the rung just above television and screen writers. (via Susan G)

File Under: Square Pegs