"Without graphics, an idea may be lost in a sea of words. Without words, a graphic may be lost in ambiguity," Billion Dollar Graphics.
Professional Editorial Standard C5 put out by the Editors’ Association of Canada says an editor will “recognize when graphic elements must be edited to clearly and effectively convey the intended meaning.” But how can a wordsmith (such as editors tend to be) learn to assess visuals?
Part of the debate around our reactions to the death of Freddie Gray and the subsequent protesting and rioting in Baltimore is the language used. Are the rioters thugs? Are the protestors rioting? Are the rioters actually protesting or just destroying things?
One of those shibboleths that make one part of the newspaper copyeditors’ club is that Champagne is capitalized, as it is named after the region in France, and that if it’s not from the Champagne region, it’s simply a sparkling wine.
I’m giving a presentation tomorrow in Columbus, and the setup contract includes a “standing podium.” I knew that meant we’ll be getting a lectern on which to put our notes as we speak, and not a small stage or a soap box to stand on.
A collection of journalists and other media experts has produced a second installment of the Verification Handbook, a collection of practical advice and case studies on how not to get duped by false information.
Peruse is one of those words with at least two meanings, thanks to evolution and confusion. The subtlety of the word is lost when we use it to describe a quick or light read instead of a close examination, but context is important whenever we use it.
The word is often used without involving either a thorough or cursory read: It conveys the idea of spending time to look for something, but not necessarily an urgency. These days, we are more likely to peruse paintings in a gallery on a lazy afternoon than spreadsheets while trying to balance a budget.
I’ve long espoused the utility of the singular they as a handy pronoun for when the sex of the subject is hypothetical or unknown. But as a copyeditor, I’m beholden to convention—it’s not for me to tell an author they should use a form that some people consider ungrammatical. My job is to provide clarity and avoid bumps along the way.
The creator of the AP vs. Chicago website has turned her attention to ways in which words include or exclude, marginalize or empower. Karen Yin has created Conscious Style Guide as “an online resource for kind, compassionate, and inclusive language.”
The words till and until appear in Middle English about 700 years ago. Till came first in Old Norse, where it was combined with und, which meant something like “as far as” or “up to.” Or "till." One can imagine Old Norse purists decrying the inherent redundancy of the word until, but the interchangeable till and until both worked their way into English.