A few intriguing items for you this week: eavesdropping on writers, reading writers’ minds, invisible nautical terms brought to light, and the thrilling conclusion to a mystery. Plus, an intriguing bonus item ...
With editorial styles continuously evolving to reflect shifts in needs, sensibilities, technologies, and markets, it is just as important to notice what hasn’t changed. What stood out for me after reviewing 25 years of style changes is that, as a whole, we copyeditors resist changing our own style of thinking about our profession. Specifically, we’ve held on to a core, almost sacred, belief that editors must be invisible.
Last week, I talked about how to mash up different citation formats to fit an odd duck in your citation list. Got a research paper that’s available for download but doesn’t list an author? Combine a couple of standard citation examples, and you’re on your way. This week, I’ll review what to do when you have to create a citation format from scratch.
The point of any citation is to help the reader find the original source. The standard information given is:
At one point or another, most copyeditors have to deal with citations. They might be footnotes or endnotes, bibliographies, or references, but our job generally is to clean them up. We make sure all the necessary details are there, sometimes with the help of resources like BibMe (see our October–November 2014 newsletter for a review). We also ensure citations follow the style manual assigned to the project, often by flipping through pages and pages of citations.
Copyeditors are some of the most generous people I know. They’re also an unusually wise and sometimes wisecracking group. More than 70 editors have generously participated in our editor interviews here on Copyediting. They have offered tips, techniques, resources, amusement, encouragement, and advice both general and specific.
I don’t sneak into writers’ offices to tuck an overused thesaurus or book of quotes into the back of a bottom desk drawer. (Tempting.) And I don’t borrow their smartphones to surreptitiously delete the social media shortcuts that double as deadline “longcuts.” (Never even occurred to me, I’m sure.) But I do hide things from my writers.