Bitch-out to the subs

Editor Tom emails to ask that I extend my latest column by a hundred words or so because the sub-editor feels it is too short. Seeing myself as a careful and nimble-fingered wordsmith, such requests grate for five or six minutes and I have to climb down from the urge to reply with something shitty like “I respectfully disagree.” I must remember that the editor really is always right, as I inevitably re-learn by re-reading the piece. He was actually being nice to say “too short” because, on re-reading the work, I realise that the argument (qualitative) is what’s lacking and not the word count (quantitative). If I fail to learn this lesson, it will be only a matter of time before I lose an important job by sending a Giles Coren-style bitch-out to the subs.

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