Sunday, February 4, 2007
Freedom of speech or just bad writing?
I was thinking about a few of the in-class exercises we have done where we were given songs and poems to copyedit. Yes, the poem we were given was hard to understand and had excessive errors. And I agree, "Lay lady lay" should be "Lie with me across my big brass bed." In fact, I've caught myself wanting to correct a Wings song ("But in this ever changing world in which we live in" -- redundant and ends in a preposition). But who am I to tell Bob Dylan or Paul McCartney his hit song is grammatically incorrect? In these instances, should the copyeditor correct the mistakes or leave the errors due to artistic freedom? Is there such a thing as too much freedom (where the work makes absolutely no sense but the artist pulls the freedom of expression card)?