Some (but not all) editors tend to turn into “writing snobs” at times.
Guilty as charged.
Being an editor of scientific papers, I am very much in tune to mistakes in scientific writing. Last week, for my own benefit, I was reading a published scientific paper in a well-respected journal and found myself turning into a snob in a major way. The paper contained typos, missing articles, and incorrect subject-verb agreement, to say the least, and I said out loud while reading, “This was published in [this well-known journal]? I can’t believe it!” I shook my head as I read the sentences which were poorly written (though not all of them were) and at the end, when I read the name of the person who “provided editorial assistance” according to the authors, I think I laughed.
I now feel badly about my actions. This is not the way to be when one is an editor. It isn’t good to have a swelled head or think you are better than another editor. Professional editors ought to think of each other as colleagues, not competitors. After all, I am not perfect although I strive for perfection when I edit, so why should I expect other editors and writers to be perfect? And it goes without saying that the authors of that paper can write better in English than I could in their native language.
I may have even made some errors in the writing of this post. Please feel free to point them out. Just be gentle, please. I am humbled already.