Email making the rounds purports to contain an irate message from a critic whose review of Mark Dunn’s Ella Minnow Pea was hopelessly botched in the editing process.
Critical to the review was the sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” The critic noted that this sentence contains all 26 letters of the alphabet in only 35 letters, but a sub-editor changed a “the” to an “a” before publication, resulting in a heap of mail from readers ridiculing the critic for being a smartass who couldn’t count. Here’s the message the critic allegedly sent the editor:
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. How fucking difficult is that?
It’s the sentence that bestrides the fucking book I reviewed for you. It is the sentence I wrote first in my fucking review. It is 35 fucking letters long, which is why I wrote that it way. And so some useless cunt sub-editor decides to change it to “jumps over A lazy dog.”
Can you fucking count? Can you see that that makes it a 33 letter sentence? So it looks as if I can’t count, and the cunting author of the book, poor Mr Dunn, cannot count. The whole bastard book turns on the sentence being as I fucking wrote it. And that it is exactly 35 letters long. Why do you meddle? What do you think you achieve with that kind of dumb-witted smart-arsery?
Why do you change things you do not understand without consulting? Why do you believe you know best when you know fuck all. Jack shit. That is as bad as editing can be. Fuck, I hope you’re proud. It will be small relief for the author that nobody reads your poxy magazine.
Never ever ask me to write something for you. And don’t pay me. I’d rather take 400 quid for assassinating a crack whore’s only child in a revenge killing for a busted drug deal — my integrity would be less compromised.
Jesus fucking wept, I don’t know what else to say.
(Thanks to M.)