More Blog Posts
Recently, I initiated a mentoring program here at Copyediting. I put the call out for mentors and mentees and matched people up.
Over on Twitter, though, @MANUALOFHULK (aka Chicago Style Hulk) asked in Hulk-like fashion: "@Copyediting MENTOR PROGRAM SOUND PROMISING, BUT HULK ALSO CURIOUS—MIGHT 'PROTÉGÉS' HAVE LEG UP ON 'MENTEES'?" @MANUALOFHULK linked to an entry in Garner’s Modern American Usage as support.
Garner’s notes that:
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The main oddity about the pair [mentor and mentee] is that unlike most pairs ending in -or and -ee, these are not from a verb stem. That is, almost every other pair derives from a...
If you have been living in North America this winter, you’ve probably used several words for snow, some of them not so polite. I come from the land of snow, where nine and twelve foot accumulations were typical. This year, that town has shut down nearly a dozen times. I mean, they closed the schools and pulled the ploughs off the road.
It’s a bit snowy.
So snowy that weather reports have started naming the storms, like they’re hurricanes or something. We’ve even weathered a couple polar vortexes. That just sounds like something the evil genius threatens to unleash if you don’t give in to his demands. “Give! Give! We can’t take another hit!”
Down here in my new “southern” home, still on the north side of the Great Lakes, where I have gone...Read More »
This time last year, my main work computer was on life support. Not the least of it, MS Word would crash nearly every day, wiping out all my macros. It became so bad that I stopped using macros until I was able to get a new computer up and running.
Had I known then how to back up and restore my macros, I would have saved myself a lot of grief (I also might have put off buying the computer even longer, so all’s well that ends well, I guess).
You can back up your macros two ways. The easiest way is to back up your Normal.dotm (Normal.dot in versions prior to 2007) file. This will save your autocorrect and dictionary entries and any other customizations you’ve created.
The file can be most commonly be found at C:\Documents and settings\<user name>\...Read More »
Featured Topic: Editorial Methods
This week’s News Roundup covers editing newbie novelists, recognizing the importance of editing, and continuing your editor training.
- “Editing the First-Time Novelist”: What do you need to know about editing a writer’s first novel? (The Editors’ Weekly)
- “Accept No Substitutes”: Even Saturday Night Live recognizes that crowdsourcing your editing is a foolish decision. (You Don’t Say)
- “On the Basics: Editors and Education—A Lifelong, Ongoing Process”: What does ongoing editor education look like in our digital world? (...
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.
But where do you find indie authors? And how is working with them different from working with other types of clients?
Sarah Barbour, of Aeroplane Media, has...Read More »
The Humane Society for the United States (HSUS) is seeking a blog editor to join its public relations team in the Washington DC area (Gaithersburg, MD). HSUS was established 60 years ago to oppose and prevent painful exploitation of animals. Today it is the largest animal protection agency in the U.S. and maintains its primary mission to “prevent cruelty before it occurs.”
The blog editor will manage a daily blog, including researching, writing, and gathering and editing contributed content. The blog editor will also monitor and increase online media reach and will work with other public relations team members to address questions and comments received on the blog and other social media.
This full-time position...Read More »
A checklist can help you be efficient, track your progress, and help you focus when your mood or your project is not making that easy.
I make a new checklist for every project—especially when I will be processing several files (chapters) through the same process. Running through a list of checks—rather than working linearly through a manuscript—can also help you see the words in a new way. This is particularly helpful when you have already done several types of edits on a document and are becoming too familiar with the words to see them for what they really are.
Pilots have long known that a checklist can save your bacon. When running through routine checks, actually checking off each item means that your familiarity with the task won’t get in the way of completing every...Read More »
In summer 2013, I wrote a series of articles on zombie rules for Visual Thesaurus. The series proved popular, and I was inspired to do more research.
The term zombie rule was introduced by Arnold Zwicky to describe a usage rule that we’re taught to follow but that doesn’t actually exist. It has no basis in fact or, sometimes, no longer does. But it shuffles along like a zombie, attacking us with its insistence.
Copyeditors are at particular risk of being attacked. We aim for correctness, precision, and elegance, but we have little time to do proper research. If we’re told by someone we trust (often a beloved...Read More »
For casual users, the Oxford English Dictionary has long been both monumental and unapproachable. As the biggest English-language dictionary, it has been more of a prize possession than an everyday reference. Few have space or money for a multivolume set. The popular two-volume set packaged with a magnifying glass is far less useful than a $20 collegiate that can be rested on one hand.
The Internet and variable search tools make the online OED practical for casual use, but a $295 subscription price leaves most word lovers on the other side of the paywall. It may seem stingy to complain about paying less than a dollar a day for access to one of the world’s greatest reference works. But, come on: the Internet.
It’s unclear how the OED will continue to...Read More »
Robert Allen has been in journalism and publishing for 20 years, most recently as a senior managing editor at WebMD.
What path have you taken to get where you are today?
I started out studying astronomy — I love science. But unfortunately I am not great at math, and you have to be great at math to work in physics or astronomy. So I decided to combine what I love (science) with what I'm good at (English) and got a journalism degree, hoping to get into science journalism. Fast forward 20 years and I'm at WebMD doing health journalism.
How does your work at WebMD differ from the work you did at the St....Read More »