Ahem. Copy editors? When you run across a clause on the order of
X, like Y, can cause a great deal of Z
"like" is an adverb meaning something like "in the same manner as." It does not mean Y is a specific case of X, and if you change the clause to
X such as Y can cause a great deal of Z
you have very little chance of being on the Xpesmasse list this year. You are not just following a bogus rule you don't really understand; you're causing genuine damage to whatever meaning was there. And I speak in some dismay because, um, I'm looking at the proofs.
This is my plea, dear copy editors. I am in my sixth decade of making myself look and sound like a moron. I make no claims to stardom in that regard; I'm a journeyman idiot, usually good for anywhere from two to 30 cases of outright cluelessness a day, depending on when I get up. (The doubled attribution on the sixth page, for example, has been sailing right past me for a year and a half now.) I don't need a lot of help at looking dumber. I'd rather your time went into making me look less dumb.
Labels: editing, language