Cutups hit multislice

April 17, 2002

By Greg Freiherr, Editor, gfreiherr@cmp.comCopyeditors polish my work all the time. It's their job. I don't mind. Usually, they make me look pretty good. But as we were

By Greg Freiherr, Editor, gfreiherr@cmp.com

Copyeditors polish my work all the time. It's their job. I don't mind. Usually, they make me look pretty good. But as we were finishing the April 3 issue, I was worried.

Going over the news briefs, which we typically do at the very end, I came across one entitled, "Multislice finds new uses." It was 50 minutes to "drop dead," the hour when our printer must have the text if we are going to mail the issue on time; 50 minutes until we send the text to our Web master to go online April 1.

The "Multislice" brief was too long. I needed to cut four lines. It began, "Making the most of its merger juggernaut, GE Medical Systems added to its stable of multislice modalities . . ." Hold it! Cut "juggernaut"‹there goes one word.

I started over. "Making the most of its mergers, GE Medical Systems added to its stable of multislice modalities with the acquisition of Sunbeam." Whoa! Sunbeam? In multislice? I read on.

"The full line of toasters will enable both one-sided (1S) and two-sided (2S) applications. A light/dark algorithm allows for client preference."

1S? 2S? I looked at my wall clock, whose ticking‹usually imperceptible‹now sounded like a metronome. Forty-five minutes left.

"The company is hoping to complete its acquisition of Land O' Lakes in time to add contrast enhancement to both 1S and 2S models in increments of pat or stick. Patient compliance has been demonstrated to skyrocket with oral ingestion of the contrast substance. Increased demand for coronary artery imaging is expected to follow market saturation."

Hmmm. GEMS is headquartered in the dairy state, I thought. And its parent does make home appliances. Could its strategists be so diabolical, so ruthless as to plan the clogging of arteries coast to coast just to sell more CTs? Or was something else at work here? I called our production editor, who soon fell prey to my investigative skills and cracked like a Grade A egg. Admitting her conspiracy with copyediting, she blurted, "April Fools'!"

But I wondered: With all the big companies gone, and precious few small ones left, was this story really so far-fetched? April Fools' indeed.