October 14, 2008 at 8:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I am editing a document. I have reams of paper in front of me, a pencil — not a pen (this is somehow very important) — in hand. I am making proofreading marks in the margin. I don’t even know how I know to make these proofreading marks. Did I learn them in journalism school? I don’t think so — somehow, I’ve just always known them. And then I realize why: when we were little, our drawing paper had typing on the “back.” Interspersed with the typewriter font were penciled in ^’s and delete marks and triple underscored lower case letters. (We didn’t realize that most kids had pristine fronts and backs of their drawing paper.) And for the first time in a long time, I wish I could call my dad and tell him about being a lawyer — about drafting transitional agreements, crafting transactional representations (“reps”), editing a disclosure statement — all these words, legal phrases, symbols that were an unconscious part of my childhood. A language in which I’m slowly becoming facile. Though I hope never, ever to be part of a “deal,” I’m being introduced to this world of corporate law — a world that was so much his world — and it makes me feel closer to what I remember as that curly-haired, nicotine-tinged, squinty-eyed man who, at the very least, made sure we were never without drawing paper.



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  1. The first time I got a marked up copy of the classified “blue lines” I was half way through editing the layout when I had to stop and figure out how I knew what I was doing – then I remembered drawing on the backs of those papers. I must have picked it up through osmosis too.

  2. i have this memory of being in the office with dad, when he let me draw one of those loop-de-loop marks (the scratch-that-paragraph mark) in red pen on one of the documents he was editing. i was so excited but didn’t think mine was as good as his so sat across from him and practiced loop-de-loops for the rest of my visit. AND btw, our home-made christmas tree angel (courtesy of jbw) with it’s writing on the back is the perfect example of what you guys are talking about.

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