phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

I can see the nail holes

Posted by Bob on July 22, 2005

In Reply to: I can see the nail holes posted by Suzy Banks on July 22, 2005

: I was recently told by an editor that while he liked my essay, he had a problems with the way I phrased a couple of things. He'll elaborate in more detail in the future but I was wonder if I could glean anything from the phrase he used to describe the problem. He said, "I can see the nail holes." I'm assuming this means it's either shoddily constructed or perhaps the set up is too apparent or, well, I don't know. Do you know what "I can see the nail holes" means in regards to editorial criticism?

What an annoying man, to be so cute and unhelpful and vague. I suppose what he meant was ... a good cabinetmaker or furniture maker will join pieces together, and then carefully fill in the nail holes, sand them down, and make it as smooth as possible. Perhaps he thought you needed to go back over the piece and smooth out little finishing details. But I'm guessing, because he did not make himself clear, and so he failed as an editor.