Editor in Chief
The Women of Distinction Magazine
Dear Ms. Bacchi,
I can't tell you what an honor it is to be a potential candidate for inclusion in your 2015 edition of "Women of Distinction."
When I received your email of Friday last — My birthday! So auspicious! — I really didn't know what to think.
Your email shone above the barrage of emails I get every day. It was — dare I say? — distinct!
I mean, the chance to represent women, my state — and my profession! — in your edition. Such a surprise!
Really, really surprising!
"Attention," you greeted me, and boy! (pardon the expression) You got my attention.
Didn't even have to call me by name.
"The Research and Editorial Committee are looking to select potential candidates for our up-coming edition," you explained. "We primarily focus on ones current position and industry, however we are also interested in; community development, criteria from professionals associations and trade journals.
"Based on our research we believe your profile fits our criteria and would make an excellent addition to our publication," you said.
First, kudos to your crack Research and Editorial Committee! "Research" isn't part of its name for nothing. You have found out something about me that perhaps I didn't know myself.
Shawn Colvin, Sean Young … now I realize how small that leap really took to determine my womanhood. And that's without bothering to Google®™ "Distinctive women named Shawn or Sean," as I'm sure your Research and Editorial Committee did. Or else, how would it have discovered me, a potential Woman of Distinction, representing the Golden State?!
Forgive my impudence — the last thing I'd want to do is mar this occasion — but shouldn't it be "The Research and Editorial Committee is looking," since the committee is one thing, the group rather than the people cromprising it? Unless it's two things, of course! Perhaps you have a Research Committee and an Editorial Committee, and why not?! You probably need both. But shouldn't it then read "The Research and Editorial committees," "committees" being plural and then lowercase to indicate the multiple distinct (there's that word!) groups, under recognized English grammar and style rules?
"Upcoming" doesn't require a hyphen, either. Oh, forgive me! I'm a jerk sometimes, and that was such a knee-jerk reaction. But you wouldn't be surprised, of course, because your Research and Editorial Committee (or Research and Editorial committees) would know I have been in the writing and editing industries.
"Ones current position" should be "one's current position." You should have a semicolon in front of "however," and a comma should follow "however." A colon, not a semicolon, should precede your list of bonus ways I might win inclusion into your distinctive publication; you don't even really need a colon: Addition of the word "your" there would suffice.
Should it be "professionals' organizations?" Or maybe just "professional organizations," which is how I typically see it?
I'm not going to niggle about the lack of a comma after "Based on our research," because I suddenly figured out what you're doing: You're an editor in chief of distinction! Well done! Your distinction shows through in this novel bit of editing. Why follow rules, indeed!
I have so much to learn!
"You will be featured and highlighted for your achievements and future (as opposed to past) ambitions," you told me, "along side (more daring grammar!) other distinguished women. Each candidate will specifically represent their profession, giving readers an upfront look at what makes you a leader in your industry."
See, I would have gone for "Each candidate will represent her profession, showing readers what makes her an industry leader," following the musty, dusty rules rules of proper pronoun use and parallelism, but what do I know?!
I would have dived right in, too, and edited for brevity, as Strunk and White advised, but why?! They're musty dusty men, after all. Time to hear me roar!
Use as many words as you want, that's my new rule! Thank you for blazing new trails.
Heavens! I have until Aug. 20 to give you materials that will determine my inclusion in your magazine. Not much time, is it?
But you have been kind not to let me forget. Thank you for inviting me to subscribe to your magazine, and your second email calling attention to my candidacy for your special edition. You didn't have to tell me twice, but I'm glad you did, calling me "Dear ," this time. You shouldn't have!
"We look forward to hearing more about you!" you concluded, and I've got your request at the top of my to-do list, just as soon as I register with you. I'm sure you just need my absolutely correct personal information for the plaque and the monogrammed swag.
To be honest, I don't know what more I can gather for you, realizing how much you already know about me.
Again, thank you for this honor, Ms. Bacchi. It's a brave new era for me. Like I said, I can't tell you how honored I am. Really, I can't.
Yours in womanhood,
Shawn (as in Shawn Johnson) Turner