More Blog Posts
Still throwing darts at a price chart when the phone rings? Melanie Thompson’s Pricing a Project will take the mystery out of the task and help you build quotes that don’t leave you working for pennies an hour. No need to reinvent the wheel; the SfEP’s new 36 page guide sets you up with a couple of tools and a lot of explanation. (SfEP is the UK’s professional organization: Society for Editors and Proofreaders.)
The two main tools you end up with are a briefing questionnaire and a time sheet. Thompson does a good job of showing how these are useful, rather than being just pedantic data hoarding. Every field in these forms is expanded upon in the book.
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Phil Corbett, standards editor at the New York Times, described changes to the newspaper’s stylebook as “mostly updates and tweaks; nothing earth-shattering” in an email to The Atlantic this week.
But people love word changes, and tech types particularly love discussions of how we render tech words, so the new advice was a big event. The New York Times decided to render email and website thus. And it acknowledged the verb form of tweet, though it still finds it a bit casual.
Perhaps the announcement wasn’t as earth-shattering as when the Associated Press...Read More »
Featured Topic: Copyediting Style
Although publishers’ styles can be so individual, we try to nail down a few rules in today’s News Roundup.
- “To Tweet and Email Are Now Fit to Print at The New York Times”: But googling is not. (The Atlantic Wire)
- “The Power of Appositive Thinking”: Not all quotes need commas before and after them.(The Grammarphobia Blog)
- “A Few Tips from the Editor”: A few differences between British and American English and a surprising revelation about midcareer editors. (Bridging the Unbridgeable)...
Many words we casually use today come from spelling variances that have simply become accepted over the years. Before standardized spelling, conventions could be borrowed from other languages, and favored spellings could be supplanted by all sorts of odd letter combinations.
The Oxford English Dictionary lists 17 spellings of the word dictionary (dixionary? really?). But it's continuing a 500-year battle against the word comptroller.
The OED’s entry for comptroller says, simply:
An erroneous spelling of controller n., introduced c1500, and formerly frequent in all senses; still retained in certain official designations, while in...Read More »
Featured Topic: Editorial Methods
Today’s News Roundup looks at what copyeditors should focus on in their editing, how to continue your training, and which story lead you can safely edit.
- “Business of Editing: Editing in Isolation”: Copyeditors have to look at global meaning, too. (An American Editor)
- “What Copyeditors Can Learn Online(Maybe Not What You Think)”: After copyediting classes are done, the Internet can provide an ongoing education. Three things you can learn. (The Subversive Copy Editor Blog)
- “Dick Thien Missed This One”: Add one more item to your “don’...
A freelance writer was served with a notice of libel for a piece that appeared in The Toronto Star last month. Story Board covered the issue from a contract perspective: was the freelancer on the line for legal costs, and who takes final responsibility?
Flagging libel concerns is a task for every type of editor, according to the Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC). But who takes responsibility? And, what constitutes libel?
The “offending” article was a feature on sexual assault at York University. I can’t give more details because repeating libel is in itself a libellous act. The main defenses against...Read More »
I have a fondness for words that are associated by sound and use but not parentage. Words can come from disparate locations and family trees and be brought together by association. The process is called folk etymology, meaning that while the etymologies of two words are unrelated, their similarities influence how they are used. And in language, what the folks decide is what counts.
I found out the near-soundalikes dual and duel follow this path. Through supposition and a not-so-careful reading of the word origins, I tweeted about the differences in the words and said that they are cousins, both stemming from duo. Linguist and editor...Read More »
Featured Topic: Old Words, New Words
In today’s News Roundup, we gather advice on using old words and look at a few new ones.
- “Dude!”: Dude may be 130 years old, but it’s still slangy and informal. (Lingua Franca)
- “New Words – 21 October 2013”: Ghost money makes an appear in Cambridge Dictionaries Online’s new word list. (About Words)
- “Down Syndrome or Down’s Syndrome?: Possessive Eponyms in Medical Terminology”: Medical copyeditors should pay special attention to eponymous medical terminology. (The American Heritage...
For the last several weeks, I have been investigating and testing the options for editing on a tablet. My software priorities have been distilled enough now to reveal that I judge potential editing systems mostly by these three features: 1) compatibility with MS Word and its tracked changes, 2) stability and an intuitive or familiar interface, and 3) access to cloud storage. Lesser priorities include a pleasant design, collaboration abilities, formatting options, and affordability.
Apps that cover the basic needs of editors are still few, and I am admittedly surprised to report that the two best options I’ve found are only available on the iPad. [Full disclosure: I'm generally a PC...Read More »
Last week, my copyediting students asked about pay rates for editors and how they could determine what to charge. I’ve talked in this space before about what a copyeditor earns, but this seems like a good opportunity for an update.
Last time, I pointed to the Editorial Freelancers Association as a good place to start for determining your rate (at least for US editors). That’s still true. Since then, the numbers have been updated and different types of editing have been added:
|Type of Work||Estimated Pace||Range of Fees...|