I got an e-mail from Ivan Santana, whom I don't know from Adam but whose attitude struck me as excellent. He's a freelance copyeditor and proofreader who is offering his services to bloggers and other Web page operators, and here's his description of his approach:

I am diligent, incessant and implacable in my attention to detail. I am relentless in my fact-checking methodology, be it using reference materials or be it online using LEXIS/NEXIS, WESTLAW or the Internet, to ensure accuracy. I am undaunted by deadlines or last-minute addenda.

As a copyeditor/proofreader, it is my job to strengthen the fabric of society, held together by a common language, by not having mistakes or inaccuracies distract the readers' attention from the message that is being presented.

What bugs me about most advertising is not that it's self-promotion -- in the business world, you often need to engage in self-promotion. Rather, most advertising is self-promotion that's vapid, in the literal dictionary meaning of the term: "lacking or having lost life, sharpness, or flavor; insipid; flat"; "without liveliness or spirit; dull or tedious."

When proofreaders and copyeditors promote themselves not as "achieving a higher standard of excellence through value-added partnership with the client" or similar mumbo-jumbo, but as "diligent, incessant and implacable in ... attention to detail," "relentless," "undaunted," and aiming to "strengthen the fabric of society" through their work, that makes me smile. I can't speak to the quality of Mr. Santana's services; but at least I read and paid attention to his ad, and if we were hiring a proofreader (rather than just depending on the forbearance of our readers), I would definitely consider him.