When I left the copy desk and set up shop in the guest bedroom, Twitter became my virtual office. I’m never a few clicks from my copyediting cohort on Twitter. It provides ongoing education in writing, word usage, and the craft of copyediting. And whiskey.
Whore is not a word I bandy about or recommend to others, but It has undeniable staying power, offending people for more than a thousand years. The word came up in yesterday’s celebration of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.
It’s always bothered me, copyeditor that I am, that A Midsummer Night’s Dream features Theseus, mythological conquerer of the Amazons, and identifies him as the Duke of Athens, a role that did not exist until the 13th century (and was first held by a fellow named Otto).
I’ve lately been called on to verify more quotations when I’m editing. I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence or a trend related to the ready availability of quotes on the Internet. Very often, the quotes provided have nothing to do with the famous thinkers they are attributed to. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Never believe everything you read on the Internet.”
Next week is National Library Week, and copyeditors are part of the celebration. The Oxford University Press folks are freeing up all of their online resources to help celebrate libraries and librarians. That means Oxford Dictionaries will be free for us to try, with all its related resources included. So will the Oxford English Dictionary.
Now that Yooper has entered the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary (which joins American Heritage Dictionary in considering it a worthy word), it’s fitting that some of the other vocabulary words of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan should enter the language as well. Eight years of living in the U.P.