Many years ago I had a boss, a senior partner at the firm I worked for, whose contribution to most of the reports we put his name on consisted of attending some key meetings and replacing a lot of the plain English in my draft executive summaries with whatever romanized words he thought sounded "professional" that week.
More recently I've discovered that a lot of editors can't keep themselves from editing - even if, like him, they haven't a clue what the thing's about. This isn't a new problem, of course, nor does it seem to be related to the quality of the writing - great authors from Pepys to Clemens and from Turgenev to Rowling have seen their works defiled by random hacking.
And that phrase gives me an idea: most of these guys use Microsoft Word, right? and there are hundreds of thousands of frustrated writers out there - so what you get when you put those facts together with the "random hacking" idea is opportunity.
Unfortunately I don't use anything from Microsoft myself and my familiarity with both BASIC and the Microsoft common object model is pretty weak - so now I need help making it happen. Here's what's needed first: a Microsoft Word addin that travels invisibly with the document, keeps track of the changes an editor makes, and then, on close, puts everything back the way it was - except, and this is the zinger, it should reverse the change markings to make it look, on document re-open, as if the changed document was the author's original, and the changes needed to get from there to the original were all done by the editor.
Regardless of how it's done, there's money to be made here - there are hundreds of thousands of writers ready to pay real money for something that protects and preserves their work against editorial assault - and if we sell the thing through sites focused on things editors don't value: sites like dictionaries, word usage guides, or grammar checkers; the chances are good none of them will ever figure out what's going on.
So, bottom line? if one of you could help by writing it, we'll offer it as the robbing hood Office addin and maybe we can both make a little money while helping improve the quality of published materials - and, really, can it get any cooler than that?