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- An editor is a person who knows precisely what he wants, but isn't quite sure.
- Walter Davenport 
- In some companies editors have been told not to sign up anything that can't be counted on to hit at least 50,000 or some other arbitrary figure. Another command from on high is 'buy only bestsellers'.
- Paul Nathan, The Golden Age of Opportunity
- An editor is a person who knows more about writing than writers do but who has escaped the terrible desire to write.
- E. B. White, letter to Shirley Wiley (30 March 1954), in The Letters of E. B. White (1989), p. 391
- Editor: a person employed by a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed.
- Elbert Hubbard, The Roycroft Dictionary (1914) p. 46.