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.
“Capitalization is probably second only to spelling as a source of confusion and ambivalence for Canadian editors,” says Editing Canadian English. How they could have ignored hyphenation floors me. But let’s stick with the caps for now.
Chapter 3 is devoted to capitalization in Editing Canadian English (ECE). Yes, a whole chapter. I looked it up because a reader wrote to ask which capitalization rule was right. Me?
One day, we might be able to attend conferences of copyeditors virtually, with multiple cameras in every room transmitting conference proceedings and picking up bits of conversation as copyeditors meet over coffee, tea, or wine, depending on the time of day. Until then, we at least have Twitter, and I’ve already created a TweetDeck column for #SfEP14, the hashtag for the Society for Editors and Proofreaders conference in Royal Holloway, just west of London.
I get such joy out of finding previously unknown wordhoards of various varieties and origins, so I was thrilled to find that James Harbeck has done 1,600 “word tasting notes” over six years and left them right under my nose.
Here is an office memo I have never seen, but would like to. I give you full permission to use it in your workplace:
Despite their popularity in the office this summer, especially among our new millennial associates and interns, please be advised that the wearing of thongs is not approved under the corporate dress code. Anyone wearing thongs will be asked to change into more suitable attire.
Mignon Fogarty has given millions of people greater confidence in their ability to follow the confusing conventions of our language. To do that, she became a pioneer in podcasting, built the Quick and Dirty Tips empire, and developed a successful brand as Grammar Girl.
The 6.0 earthquake that hit the Napa Valley and destroyed some barrels of wine had a predictable aftereffect: the trotting out of the uncommon word temblor. Temblor is the favorite second-reference word among journalists for earthquake, and it seems to have little utility elsewhere.
I tweeted this bit of advice on the word, which is sometimes rendered incorrectly as tremblor (both tremble and temblor trace their roots to the Latin tremulus).
Scrabble is a game of strategy, probability, mathematics, and knowledge of obscure words—probably ill-suited to most copyeditors, who focus on the practical use of words. No matter. Copyeditors love anything to do with words, and so one of the great sporting events on a copyeditors calendar took place last week in Buffalo, N.Y.