Here’s a question for all the business copyeditors in the room:
When your text deals with a business-to-business (B2B) relationship, who is the customer: the company that pays the bills, the individual who is the main contact point, or the team that ends up working on the project?
I see this problem a lot in business copy. Even the author isn’t always sure who customer (or client or something similar) refers to, and the result is a muddle of pronouns for one word. The customer is an it in one sentence and a they in the next.
One of the language newsletters I read has a feature that gives quick lessons on usage problems. The feature is often informative, reminding readers of the difference between loath (an adjective) and loathe (a verb) or that descend doesn’t need to be followed by down.
But once in a while, the feature baffles me, as with this recent (paraphrased) lesson:
Freelance copyeditors are often interested in working with self-publishing, or indie, authors, but are stumped at how to find such clients.
The number of self-published books is growing. In 2012, 391,000 titles were self-published, according to Bowker. And the smart indie author knows how important editing is to the success of their book. It makes sense, then, for freelancers to want to connect with these authors.
The next issue of Copyediting newsletter is due out in a few days. The issue didn’t raise a lot of debate, as some past issues have. One debate we did have was whether the adjective alternate could be used to mean “alternative; referring to a choice.”
From The Business of Copyediting article:
If you prefer an alternate/alternative spelling, you may be able to secure it a spot in your style sheet.
The American Dialect Society’s Word of the Year (WOTY) for 2013 was prepositional because, also known as because noun and because + noun. If you’ve been paying attention to online trends, you’ve likely seen it:
But Iowa still wants to sell eggs to California, because money.—Daily Kos (July 14, 2012)
Before the holidays, I wrote a response to whether editors can be trained. I believe they can, and the biggest boost to success is one-on-one training and feedback. It’s rare to see this kind of training in the office environment and even rarer for freelancers.
A few organizations offer mentoring to their members, including: