Sunday, May 04, 2008

Words about editing from Prof. David O. Green

I attended the memorial service for Prof. David O. Green today. He was a distinguished accounting professor, first at the University of Chicago; then an administrator here at Baruch, and then he returned to teaching. I can't say that I knew him well--I received an occasional email and I would see him at accounting department events and say hello. I learned of his diverse talents and his generous nature today.

He helped start, and edited the Journal of Accounting Research, which is one of the top ranked accounting journals. Apparently, he was quite the editor, of both manuscripts, and students' essay answers. I thought this comment was worth sharing. It is from Roman L. Weil, today a University of Chicago professor:

"I'll never forget the lesson he taught me in 1973 or 1974, when I gave him something I'd written on consolidated statements, which he marked up so much that one could barely read the underlying typescript. I began to debate the merits of his suggestions. He responded with words equivalent to "Finding someone to read and comment on your writing is hard. When you are lucky enough to get such comments, don't argue with the critic. Go off, alone, think about it, and lick you wounds."

I've passed this along to a couple of generations of writers. David, thanks from all of us."

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