Listen to what you are saying

Listen to what you are saying:  Verlyn Klinkenborg writes an appreciation of Eleanor Gould Packard, the New Yorker’s arbiter of style, who died on Sunday at 87.


“…a writer soon learns to welcome anyone who can offer real insight
into the nature of prose, and that Miss Gould could certainly do. I
learned from her neatly inscribed comments that even though I was
writing correctly – no syntactical flat tires, no grammatical
fender-benders – I was often not really listening to what I was saying.
That may seem impossible to a reader who isn’t a writer. But Miss
Gould’s great gift wasn’t taking writers seriously. It was taking their
words seriously. No writer, at first, is quite prepared for that.”