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The ancient word phase once referred to the moon and its various stages, especially the phasis, or first appearance of the new moon. By the 16th century, the French had adapted it broadly to mean a distinct stage in any cycle or evolution. It was used that way in English from at least the 1700s.
The word faze first appears in the 19th century and seems to be of American origin, or American rebirth. Its origins may go back a thousand years earlier. It means to disturb or disconcert someone (New Oxford American Dictionary). Actually, what it specifically means is not terribly important because it’s almost always used in the negative — people are said to be unfazed or not fazed by something. The ...Read More »
Featured Topic: Usable Usage
Today’s News Roundup focuses on the nitty-gritty: what part of speech because belongs to, how to avoid a dog-whistle edit, and a newish verb to watch out for.
- “Why Do Dictionaries Insist That Because Is a Conjunction? It Is Not.”: According to Geoff Pullum, because has always been a preposition. ()
- “Raising, and Answering, a Usage Question”: Are children raised or reared? (You Don’t Say)
- “I’m on [Verb]”: If you see this construction in fictional dialogue, you might want to keep it.(...
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but call editing “quality control” and you can charge a lot more.
That is my take-away from the salary survey by Ontario’s Registered Graphic Designers. They even label this person QC, with “proofreader” noted in brackets. In graphic design firms, proofreaders are paid an average of $54.40 an hour. They bill out those services to clients at an average of $88 per hour.
That’s right: What you earn is not the same as what you charge. Freelancers often forget that they are in business and not only have to cover overhead, wages and benefits, but are also entitled to earn a profit. Ask you bank, ask your...Read More »
It's an error that make some people sick to their stomachs. It might have the same effect for copy editors charged with rooting out improper usage.
Some recent headlines:
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Kobe Bryant: Flagrant Fouls in Today's NBA Make Me 'Nauseous'
'Elderly neighbour called police because our music made her nauseous'
Sherlock: a 'roller-coaster ride' that leaves you confused and...
Copyediting’s new mentoring program is now off and running. We have paired eight experienced copyeditors with eight newer editors. Thank you to all who volunteered!
We still have a few mentees for whom we don’t have good matches yet. Experienced copyeditors, could you do one of the following?
- Assess editing skills and advise on areas to work on or training needed
- Guide new freelancers on finding work, networking, and other business-related topics
- Coach in editing fiction books
- Coach in editing nonfiction books
- Coach in editing for the humanities
The mentoring relationship takes only as much time as you choose to give...Read More »
The College Board is seeking a test editor to join its assessment design and development team in Iowa City. The College Board was created by 12 participating schools in 1900 to simplify the application process and expand access to higher education. A nonprofit membership organization that prepares students and connects them with colleges and universities, the College Board is best known for the development of a common entrance exam — the SAT. Today the association represents more than 6000 schools and includes programs that cover college preparation, connection, and advocacy.
The test editor will copyedit and proofread...Read More »
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.
Garner’s Modern American Usage notes that “alternate is often misused for alternative, an understandable mistake given how close sense 2 of alternate [‘substitute’] is.” According to Garner, this “misuse” is at stage 3 of his...Read More »
Featured Topic: Freelance Copyediting
Today’s News Roundup looks at a freelancer’s right, a productivity tool you must use, and managing your credibility.
- “Do You Know Your Freelance Rights?”: You have the right to complete the work your way. Plus four other rights protected by the Department of Labor and the IRS. (Freelancers Union Blog)
- “One Productivity Tool That Can Double Your Freelance Income”: If you’re not tracking your work time, you’re missing out. (FreelanceFolder)
- “The Business of Editing: Credibility”: How do you prove your credibility as a...
In the U.S., we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the third Monday in January — January 20 this year. As a professional speaker, both in his role as minister and as civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr generated a remarkable body of quotes on a wide array of issues. Many have become touchstones in modern writing about courage, education, ethics, faith, justice, love, nonviolence, racism, sense, and more. You can read several of King’s speeches at MLKonline.net and hear and see King’s own delivery of his thoughts in speeches and interviews collected as a...Read More »
Karen Dunlap is retiring this month after 11 interesting years as president of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. During her tenure, she has seen an unprecedented contraction in the newspaper industry with a concurrent drop in professional development for journalists.
That Poynter still exists is testament enough to her abilities. Roy Peter Clark, vice president and senior scholar at Poynter, paid tribute to Dunlap in a dinner last week in St. Petersburg, speaking of her early years in Nashville,...Read More »