An important part of working on the Weekly Yelps is to maintain the illusion that our San Francisco editing team DOES NOT EXIST. We work hard to preserve the voice of each city’s Community Manager because they know better than us what their city wants to read every week. Sometimes, though, issues come up where the “local voice” sounds off, so the editors have to do a little creative research.
I was working on a Northern California issue last week and I realized I didn’t remember how to talk about the freeways using NorCal colloquialisms. See, I’m here in San Francisco by way of a Southern California beach town, where we do things a little differently – which I did not know until I got to college and was relentlessly made fun of for it. I went to school in Santa Cruz, where I learned that you can determine whether someone hails from Northern or Southern California based on if they used “the” before a freeway’s name. This seems so stupid and I initially brushed it off as San Franciscans being self-righteous cliches, but the more I got made fun of for it, the more I realized this is actually a real thing.
Cut to me editing said Northern California issue, confusing my NorCal knowledge with my SoCal roots. I couldn’t remember if I should use “the” or not while talking about which freeway to take to a particular business. I didn’t want any of our readers to catch onto the shameful whereabouts of my hometown, so I asked my manager what I should do. She responded with this video:
This is just one example of many of how I make final editorial decisions, and also how I turn to Tina Fey when I feel lost.