Proofreading exorcise

Alex Trotter uburoi at panix.com
Thu Jun 8 20:07:39 MDT 1995


[More on the humorous side: Following is the verbatim text of an actual
proofreading test I was given by a major publishing company in New York
City when I applied for freelance work with them.--AT]


                  PROOFREADING EXORCISE NO. SIX


David M. MacDonald, president at this point in time, of the
1,000,00 member United Steel Workers of America, is a man who's
doom it is to live like a ghost. Which ghost is that of Phillip
Murray who was the Steel Workers founder, first president -and
much else besides. No day in the private or labour life of
MacDonald passes without being compared with his great successor.
     Since Murray is one of the Saints of the Labor movement no-
one can come well off in the comparision. To the steelworkers, he
is a remote, aloof figure who they barely see in the flesh but
more often in the newspapers and in the media, where he appears
indistingishable from executives. What the steel worker
recollects of Murray is the memory of an humble homespun man who
spoke his men's language, and had the answers to their myriad of
problems. The steelworker- -when he thinks of it, doesn't like
the change. In fact the rank and file mill hands feel so strongly
about it that in addition to living with a ghost, Macdonald has
had to live with a revolt.
     In 1958 a volcano of rank and file unrest boiled over in a
viable election campaign in which an obscure millhand ran against
president MacDonald, and in the face of MacDonalds well-heeled
campaign gathered one of every 3 votes.
     To understand MacDonald, it is necessary to digress
momentarily to Phil Murray: The steel worker's Executive Suite on
the eigth floor of downtown Pitsburg's Commonwealth building
differs from the plush diggins with which the big wheels of
buisness surround themselves, say on New York's 5th Ave.
     Here the corner office was ocupied 'till his death by Phil
Murray, then head of the Union and the C.I.O. too. As any
organization man knows, the Corner Office is the symbol of the
arrived man to be occupied by heirarchic right by the chief, with
cross ventlation and a double view. Yet symbolically MacDonald,
although President, adjures the the corner officer Philip Murray
once ruled and that 8th floor office remains empty: a shrine to
the great man
     Murphy, though absolute master of his union, seldom summoned
the peons to his office, he got up and went to them. Andhumble
man, he never forgot his origins, of a coaldigger. Nor did he, as
he, himself put it "never have any doubt what I wanted to doto my
life,"--e.g. organize unions. Though he became one of the might-
of-the-land, visited the White House and sat down to hammer out,
with the executive boards of Big Steel comprised of rugged
individuals like Benjamin W. Farless. But he remained a
sentimental minor with a Scotch-bur in his speech who could work
on a man's feelings and emotions, shredding a tear himself if it
served the occasions purpose.
     To the steel worker ol' Murral was Phil, the kindly father,
who He was as the steel & mine workers retorted; "one of us2".
Because he had a common touch, he never stood on thin ground with
the comrades.
     Differnet than Murray, who "never had a doubt about what I
wanted to do," MacDonald had doubt-ridden misgivings. With one of
the most extensive longest, careers in the labor movement, some
thirty years- -MacDonald doesn't seem to be part of the Labor
movement, quite.


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