More Blog Posts
NACS (National Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing, previously National Association for Convenience Stores) is looking for an assistant editor to join its publishing team in the D.C. area. NACS is a trade association that supports its members by providing information and products, hosting events, and advocating for policies that benefit convenience store and fuel retail owners.Read More »
The copyeditors I know who don’t use Twitter often say they simply don’t have time for it, that Facebook is enough of a time suck. Well, sure, you don’t have to be on Twitter. There are email lists and Facebook groups that provide a great deal of support. And my understanding is that some of us still work in offices next to other copyeditors.
Twitter has space and privacy limitations that are less of an issue on other platforms. But because of its immediacy and the breadth of knowledge available, Twitter is my first point of contact with other copyeditors. And if I...Read More »
Featured Topic: Usable Usage
Let’s start the week with something you can put to work today. In today’s News Roundup, a few lessons in English usage.
- “Hey, Associated Press Stylebook, Some Friendly Advice: ‘Split Verbs’”: Really, you can let go of this rule now. (You Don’t Say)
- “The Secret Life of Sources”: On condition of anonymity is jargon fraught with suspicion. (The Grammarphobia Blog)
- “Lay Down: My Burden”: Before you grumble about your author confusing lie and lay again, read this. (Lingua Franca)
How did you get into editing, Jeff?
I edited newspaper and yearbook sections in college and interned at Zondervan. While reporting for Sun-Times Media, I became a substitute editor of suburban newspapers. At age 27, I thought I’d made it big when I became the managing editor of a couple of the chain’s suburban weeklies. After a dozen years of “fun times with the Sun-Times” (my slogan...Read More »
An Associated Press partnership with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt means a dictionary that seemed dormant has reemerged as a useful tool for journalists, copyeditors and whoever uses the Associated Press Stylebook.
The print edition of Webster’s New World College Dictionary had not been updated in years when Houghton Mifflin bought the title from Wiley & Sons a year ago. This week, the Associated Press Stylebook integrated an updated version of WNW into its online toolkit.
The product is now in beta testing, available and free to online AP Stylebook subscribers with...Read More »
Featured Topic: Style Changes
If the Gray Lady can accept email, can the AP accept over for use with numerals? Plus, the Canadian Press Stylebook gets an update.
- “Hey, Associated Press Stylebook, Some Friendly Advice: Over/More Than”: Will AP finally get rid of this zombie rule? (You Don’t Say)
- “From E-mail to Email: Dropping Hyphens Like They’re Hot”: The Gray Lady accepting email is only the latest example. (Time)
- “Q&A: James McCarten on the New Canadian Press Stylebook”: The...
I’ve never thought of myself as a Halloween enthusiast. A quick look at the posts I’ve written for Copyediting over the last couple of years, however, reveals the truth. I’m a sucker for fantasy, phantasmagoria, and even a good old-fashioned frightening now and then. The proof:
Read More »
Until you’ve explored several usage guides and dictionaries, it can be hard to appreciate how a simple word can have many nuanced meanings over its lifetime.
The word appreciate, as used above, means be aware of. It can mean value or be grateful for. With an object, it means to increase in value. We’d like a word to have a meaning and stick to it, but that’s not always the way our language works.
The root is the Latin pretium, or price. The earliest use of the word, recorded in the sixteenth century, meant to set a price on something, the same as appraise. In the seventeenth century, appreciate was used to suggest recognition that a thing had value, and in the eighteenth century it meant...Read More »
“Do vampires wear snow suits?” I wonder as I suit my kid up for some door-to-door trick-or-treating.
“If the author decides that vampires are virtually indestructible, we shouldn't see one wearing a parka,” responds Vanessa Ricci-Thode, a freelance editor and author who specializes in genre fiction. “Unless the vampire is dressing the part to fit in,” she adds.
Fantasy and horror present special challenges to the copyeditor. With made up worlds, made up rules of order, and well-known cultural allusions and intertextual references, a copyeditor has to work extra hard to keep it all consistent. We don’t want readers jarred out of the story by factors that don’t...Read More »
Featured Topic: Scary Words
When your authors hand you their favorite stories about Halloween-related words today, don’t be scared. Check them against the articles in today’s News Roundup. Happy Halloween!
- “12 Style Tips for Halloween”: Goose bumps or goosebumps? Halloween or Hallwe’en? It might depend on which dictionary you follow. (American Copy Editors Society Blog)
- “Our Favorite Witchy Words”: Do you know the connections badmouth and fly-by-night have to Halloween? (The Week)
- “The Jack-O’-Lantern and the Will-O’-...