Blast from the past: Memories of the old newsroom

I worked with Arnold Moss at Today (one of the Philippines' major broadsheets before it was acquired by another company), where I was a section editor. Mr. Moss was our copy editor, whom we referred to as our own William Safire. Following is an article that perfectly captured the memories of Mr. Moss. Originally published in the Philippines' Business Mirror, this article is republished here with permission.

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Irreplaceable: Arnold Moss, newsroom’s top cop

By Lourdes Fernandez

The red, fine marker pens now lie untouched in his pencil case.

The dictionary, Thesaurus, style books, the books of idioms and the Zinger series sit in a corner, long freed from the constant thumbing-through of fingers racing to find allies for a brilliant mind and a sharp eye.

The trademark beret, half-concealing the handsome face but not the slight smile of a congenial man – he was a terror as grammar police but the kindest of souls – has long been retired, since the man was forced by nature to stop going out, as he once did, daily, on a punishing commute that included jostling through the MRT crowd.

The white sheets of story printouts, with his precious edits for young, stumbling journalists – ahh, there must have been hundreds of thousands of those sheets – have long faded. But the red marks of the perfectionist are, hopefully, embedded in the memory of all those he mentored so patiently, and sometimes, s