Haunted by the Style Czarina

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If you find some typos in this issue, or more contractions and slang than usual, we have a good excuse. For the first time since April 6, 1979, the eyes of Carol Thiessen have not scoured the columns for sins of style and substance. Last month, Carol retired as administrative editor, and her farewell party was a time to lift up someCT values she embodied.

The first is that excellence is more important than saving a few dollars. Many times I have waffled over whether to pay to correct a bad word break or a still-readable misspelling after the pages were at the printer. But then Carol would step in: "It is wrong. We need to fix it." End of argument.

Second is the conviction that being Christian means doing things well and professionally. The besetting temptation of producing magazines is procrastination, putting things off to the last minute and making everyone else rush. Carol was rather intolerant of such practices. For instance, if I did not finish "Inside CT" by my deadline, I would get a daily, pleasant inquiry: "Are you done yet?" As the days progressed, the query would come almost hourly (when she could find me), until I encountered the still-pleasant question in 60-point type taped over my monitor. Under Carol's watch, we never missed our date with the printer.

Third is the commitment to the priesthood of all believers. As editor of the letters section, Carol insisted that all fair, responsible perspectives had a right to be represented, no matter how much they contradictedCT's position on the matter.

Fourth is the understanding that degree of popular interest does not determine importance of subject matter. It was Carol's insistence that our mission of reporting on God's work included a mandate to cover Christians in ...

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