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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.”
Or maybe it was Mark Twain who said that. It sometimes seems that anything worth saying was said by Lincoln, Twain, Albert Einstein or Winston Churchill. The website for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation has a list of spurious quotations attributed to Jefferson.
"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is...Read More »
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.
I already use the dictionaries, so I’m most looking forward to perusing the AMA Manual of Style, which I’ve never had justification to subscribe to. Also on the Oxford list: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, American...Read More »
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. did not imbue me with a complete understanding of the language. But I will sometimes say wah, to express surprise.
That’s more like wow than a whining wah. The w sound is usually longer than the...Read More »
Featured Topic: Freelance Copyediting
Where can freelance editors find work? How can they get paid faster? And what do their clients really want from them? Find out in today’s News Roundup.
- “On the Basics: Is There a 'Best Industry' for Editors?”: News reporters are editing their own copy. Trade publishers are outsourcing overseas to save a few bucks. Where else can copyeditors get work? (An American Editor)
- “Don’t Get Mad, Get Paid”: Six apps that can help you get paid faster and easier. (Freelancers Union Blog)
- “The 5 Things Clients Want Most in a Freelancer...
Today we look at cooking. The first few instalments in this simperial series should have given you the sense that Canada has made an uneasy transition to the metric (SI) system of measurement. I’m tempted to blame the baby boomers for our simperial practice again, and maybe the US because they produce so many cookbooks: cooking is rife with imperial measures.
I mentioned cooking in Fahrenheit in a previous post, but all the measurements in a recipe are given in cups and ounces too. Sure, metric equivalents are usually given with them, and that’s handy when you want to multiply or halve a recipe—I mean, it’s a lot easier to quarter 125 mL than it is to...Read More »
Two idioms, two style guides, two simultaneous and unrelated Twitter debates. It made for a fine afternoon.
The Guardian and Observer style guide account launched the larger debate yesterday with a response to a question about the phrase “you’ve got another think coming.” Several minds were apparently blown by the revelation that the phrase is not “you’ve got another thing coming.” The latter phrase appears to be winning the battle, but style guides tend to stick with the “correct” forms as long as possible.
So, too, the New York Times Style Guide prefers “...Read More »
In “Judgment Day” (Copyediting, February–March 2014), newsletter contributor Daniel Sosnoski discusses some of the judgment calls copyeditors have to make, including how to deal with a quote that contains an error.
For an example, Sosnoski offers Moving our print properties to digital versions was an economical decision, in which economical should be economic.
Possible actions include:
- Query it.
- Run it as is.
- Run it as is but include [sic].
- Silently correct it.
The best option, of course, is to query the error. However, this isn’t always possible on deadline. Running it as is can confuse the reader (and reflect...Read More »
Featured Topic: Grammar and Usage
Get your fill of grammar news! Today’s collection of stories looks at a couple of hot buttons—effect/affect and different from/than/to. Plus June Casagrande talks attributive nouns.
- “Effect an Effect”: Effect and affect as a three-tiered cake. Is anyone else hungry? (Bridging the Unbridgeable)
- “Different From? Different Than? Different To?”: What word you pair with different depends on your version of English. (OxfordWords)
- “Attributive Nouns”: What they are and how to use them. (...
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is seeking a senior editor to join its team in Missouri. The U.S. Federal Reserve is made up of twelve regional banks. The Kansas City Fed serves district ten: Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and parts of Missouri and New Mexico.Read More »
I’m typing my blog entry standing at a bar that circles a fountain in the lobby of the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. I do enjoy working at bars (it’s 9 a.m., so the bar itself is closed), and I make a point when I travel of scanning for waist-high surfaces where I can push a stool aside and set up my laptop.
Sitting, recent headlines tell us, is the new smoking. That might not be quite accurate, but it’s a good enough line that standing at work might be The Next Big Thing in healthy lifestyles. Copyeditors who sit all day might want to consider the options.
I’ve...Read More »