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The Slice

A note on the editing process

I want to share this because it's kind of funny.

But first I want to go on record.

I like and respect every one of the various editors who handle The Slice column after I have written it. That has not always been the case over the years, but it certainly is now.

Anyway, here's the story.

I'm actually on vacation. But I had written a few columns in advance. And I was trying to remember which one was set to run today. So shortly after midnight this morning, I called up That's when I saw that someone had tweaked the ender line down below my contact info.

What I had written was: T-shirts, cut-offs and a pair of thongs.

If you are as old as I am, you might recognize that as a line from The Beach Boys' song “All Summer Long.”

That was never a huge hit. But it is a good song and has been used as end-credits music in “American Graffiti,” a great episode of “The Simpsons” and probably elsewhere.

Using that line was The Slice's salute of sorts to the first full day of summer.

I did not put it inside quotation marks because I didn't want those who did not recognize it to feel somehow left out. Those who got it would get it, I reasoned. Those who didn't would just see it as a short list of summery stuff.

But leaving off the quote marks was a mistake.

Because someone at the S-R with the best intentions apparently balked at “pair of thongs” and replaced that with “pair of flip-flops.”

I can imagine what went through the editor's head, and I know the swap was done with my best interest in mind. 

So what can we learn from this?

1.) Don't read your own stuff while you are on vacation.

2.) Be grateful to have considerate colleagues who don't bug you with every little thing that comes up while you are away from the office.

3.) Always employ quotes or italics when reprinting song lyrics written before many of your colleagues were born.

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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