How much do you think the copy editors task is keeping the author honest?
When I reread my writing, I often find most of my time is spent revitalizing passages I slacked my way through on the first go. Lazy writing seems like a fairly subjective phenomenon. For example, John Gardener (author of Grendel and a number of books about writing) somewhere states that writing too many sentences starting with -ing verbs is lazy writing. He claims that overuse of -ing comes from a desire to vary sentence structure, but without effort. e.g. Walking down the street, Dave heard the jingle of a Mister Softee ice cream truck.
Some people may have no problem with an abundance of sentences that start with -ing verbs, but I agree that -ing verbs are a little lazy. Do you think the copy editor is, or should, be the person who makes the writer do the extra work that makes their writing good, even if its outside the scope of the copy editors task to correct the lazy writing? How do you break it to a writer that they are being lazy (I think one can tell if an author is being lazy)? What are some other examples of lazy writing? There are likely a few in this passage.