That was amusing, and I certainly identified with some of her stories, though starting off with the “douche bag” business can only reinforce the standard image of copy editors as humorless pedants who wield dictionaries as bludgeons. I agree with the commenter who said “I enforce Chicago and Webster’s 11th with shock and awe, though I am flexible and respectful of variance and alternatives, as long as they are consistent.” To my mind, a slang term like douchebag is a prime candidate for flexibility, especially at a popular magazine like New York. Me, I would have issued a memo the first time the subject came up, saying “Look, guys, Webster’s says it’s two words; if it’s important to you to spell it as one, I understand and will abide by it, but I want it on record that I provided the dictionary spelling.” And then I would have let it go.
This commenter, on the other hand, really made me mad:
Will you marry me?
It’s refreshing and exciting and somewhat arousing to find a loquacious woman who shares so much the same outlook and sensibilities as I. Most women just think I’m weird. We would totally get each other. Thanks for making me less alone in this world.
I know he thinks he’s being cute and funny and gallant, but women get really sick of being treated as objects in the sexual marketplace every time they show themselves in public, and guys should really cut that crap out. Or be perceived as douchebags, with or without a space.