Friggin “Spots.”

“Spots.” That’s what I used to copy edit. Friggin “spots.”

If you’ll allow me, I’d like to open with a joke.

Last year, I submitted a job application to one of my favorite newspapers in the country. I got the resume proofread, then proofread it myself and all-in-all had a jolly good time making sure it was as clean as the inside of a piano just hitting the show floor in a high-end piano store.

My first position listed on my resume was my then-current position: copy editor.

You know who copy editors are: the overworked, underpaid and under-appreciated masters of diction, syntax, punctuation and Associated Press style (such as the lack of an Oxford Comma in this sentence, see what I did there?). They’re people who fact-check and spot typos of every shape and size in whatever articles they’re hired to scour for media outlets around the world.

I was one of THOSE people.

So imagine how carefully I worded, and edited and re-edited the copy editor explanation bullet points on the resume I was submitting to what was very possibly my dream job.

Imagine how copiously I reviewed and re-reviewed those particular bullets, striving to make them a combination concise, stylistically perfect and perhaps even poetic.

Here, dear Reader, is both the joke…and how that first bullet point read.

“Edits stories from a variety of desks including spots, news and opinion.”

“Spots,” Ladies and Gentlemen. I copy edit…”spots.”


My name is Shelton Matthew Burch, and I was clearly not destined for THAT internship. lol.

Thanks for reading. 🙂


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