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I Caused a Major Pronoun Meltdown | by Martha Manning

In writing my first book, I learned a number of painful lessons

I assumed that the book’s copyeditor was the fail safe for any errors I made in

I was in such a hurry to get the damn thing out, I didn’t give all

I figured that the copyeditor’s judgement would always trump mine

When my sister, Sarah, was finally allowed to see us, she was loaded for bear

Rachel finally blurted out that Sarah could not blame her for her alcoholism

It was one of those family interchanges that was dead serious, punctuated by some really funny parts

I enjoyed reading it aloud all around the country, with members of my network of family and

I read the story of our rehab visit until I hit “ the sentence

The copyeditor switched “her” (meaning “Sarah,” for “Rachel”)

“You’ ll love this! Laura just called me, and she and some of my friends just couldn’

They were furious that I didn’t trust them enough to confide it in them

“You know when we went to visit cousin Emily? She met us at the door and practically

“So I called Emily when we got home and asked her if something was going on between

She said, “Rachel, I think it was pretty clear from the book…I don’t know why

In the meantime, I scramble to get the changes made in the paperback version, thinking it will

Martha, she took my hand and said she hoped I was “doing better

And you never know who is seeing it and what they’re thinking about it

There is also the elevation of the written published word over personal experience and wisdom that is

The totality of Rachel was no match for the one sentence that ended up on “Page 83

Sometimes it is so easy to rattle off a bunch of words about someone when we’re

And it’s not just a matter of changing everyone’s name as a way of protecting

Just this past summer we were in Maine visiting another group of cousins

My sister Rachel will be served non-alcoholic drinks for the rest of her life