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The New York Public Library, a feat of architecture and public access, was dedicated on May 23, 1911. It was exactly 16 years after the Astor and Lenox libraries agreed to combine with the Tilden Trust to create a truly “free library and reading room” as envisioned by former governor Samuel Tilden when he made his $2.4 million bequest. On May 24, the day after the dedication, the NYPL opened to the public. Between 30,000 and 50,000 people visited on that first day.
Today the NYPL has more than 90 locations, 51 million items, 18 million visitors per year, and 32 million online visitors per year from more than 200 countries. See the video below for highlights.
Etymatching Library Words: Match...Read More »
All entries in a dictionary are crowdsourced, and they have been for centuries. The words we use rise and fall on popular whim; dictionaries listen to what the crowd is saying and alter definitions and spellings and add or subtract words accordingly.
Collins English Dictionary is speeding up the process with its #twictionary campaign. Twitter users have until May 28 to vote on which of several words they would like to see included in the next edition of the UK-based dictionary.
A social-media driven crowdsourcing campaign with a promise to include something in the next edition of...Read More »
A friend sent me a note about my visit to Cayo Oeste, using a Spanish translation for Key West. I got a lot of notes about Key West for this trip and many instructions on what spot to visit in my travels.
The original Spanish, though, was Cayo Hueso, or Bone Key, a name still found on some island businesses. The English key for a low-lying barrier island probably comes from cayo, influenced by quay, which is related to an earlier word key.
For quay, the root might be Celtic or Gaulish or, let’s just say Indo-European. The word that gave us hedge, meaning an enclosure, or cae in Welsh, became the French quay (quai in modern French),...Read More »
In today’s News Roundup, we explore jargon’s place in plain English, the helpfulness of a spell-checker (really!), and some common hyphen problems.
- “In Defense of Plain English”: Jargon has its place, but plain English is preferred. (Madam Grammar)
- “When Spell-checker Helps ... And When It Doesn’t”: No, really, your spell-checker can help. (Grammar Underground)
- “The Small Stuff”: Hyphens are some of the smallest things copyeditors sweat. NYT offers a lesson on them. (After Deadline)
With the 30th annual Tom Fairley Award, Canadian editors take time to applaud our colleagues; to acknowledge the heavy lifting, the diligent wordsmithing, the hand-holding, and the polishing of prose both literary and functional. For, editors work on all kinds of words.
This year’s short list for the Editors' Association of Canada award for editorial excellence includes a magazine, poetry, and a reference book. All editing roles are eligible: from development right through to final proofreading.
The submission package is extensive, requiring several letters of recommendation as well as examples of correspondence and stages of the work. The...Read More »
I love the serendipity that can happen in a library. Passing by stacks a few weeks ago, I found Right, Wrong, and Risky by Mark Davidson displayed prominently on an endcap. Here was a usage book, that although not new, I hadn’t heard of. The cover looked smart, so I scooped it up, hoping what was inside was just as smart.
Davidson offers three quotes in his front matter:
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“The greatest possible merit of style is, of course, to make the words absolutely disappear into the thought.”—Nathanial Hawthorne
“The greatest problem about communication is the illusion that is has been accomplished.”—George Bernard Shaw*
Catch up on trends in publishing in today’s News Roundup. We’ll look at questions like: What’s the copyeditor’s role in digital publishing? Should we make use of Creative Commons? How can you best guide your self-publishing authors?
- “Copy Editors Carve Niche in Digital Media Landscape”: Digital media outlets that skip copyediting also skip “quality of content and credibility.” (American Journalism Review)
- “Does Creative Commons Make Sense?”: Your answer might be different if you’re on the receiving end. (The Scholarly Kitchen)
- “Self-Publishing #Fails”: Help your self-publishing author avoid...
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is seeking a manuscript editor to join its Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) division in Atlanta, Georgia. ACR represents more than 9,400 professionals who specialize in rheumatology. It offers support via education, research, and advocacy. It’s publications include Arthritis & Rheumatology, The Rheumatologist, and Arthritis Care & Research (published by ARHP).
The manuscript editor will edit and copyedit manuscript, format and size tables and illustrations, and proofread page proofs for ...Read More »
“Do others get that feeling, an intense discomfort about talking about money, plus a little voice that says, Surely they won't believe I'm worth that?" That’s what my pal and colleague Jo wants to know.
Picture Jo’s example: “you are having a great discussion with a potential client about a very interesting project. You make a couple of suggestions that they agree with and a couple more that they really like; and they just love your suggestion about showing how you would work. And then comes the pit in your stomach when they ask, What is your hourly rate?”
My advice is: fake it 'til you make it, dear. It took me years to be able to say "my husband" without feeling awkward. The more you say [awkward thing], the easier it gets. I know you are worth your rate. You’...Read More »
Just before the turn of the twentieth century, Homer Plessy, a U.S. citizen of white and black ancestry, was arrested for refusing to move from the whites-only car of a Louisiana train. Plessy and his lawyers used the case to challenge segregation laws. The laws were upheld. The decision given in the U.S. Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson confirmed that “separate but equal” would be a protected legal doctrine for decades.
Nearly 60 years after Plessy v. Ferguson, a group of parents in Topeka, Kansas, filed a suit that led to the overturn of that ruling. The landmark case that was the...Read More »