Life as a Copyeditor

Do you ever find at the end of workday that even though you know darned well you weren’t slacking for even ten minutes, somehow you didn’t make any progress in editing your manuscript? Or do you ever try to explain to someone why even though you put in forty or fifty hours a week, your editing time is way, way less? Recently I was ransacking my archives looking for something, and I ran across a file

Is It Time to Rethink the Third-Person Author Bio?

This morning I was looking at a writer’s website and once again wondered about an anomaly I see all the time in author bios. You know what I mean: those short blurbs that appear on book jackets, at online bookstores and fan sites, on guest posts, conference programs, and other hangouts where writers need to be identified.

Countdown to CMOS 17

CMOS 17 is almost here—and at the University of Chicago Press, that’s a really big deal. Every seven to ten years the team here revs up for an overhaul of The Chicago Manual of Style, and two to three years after that,

Who’s a “Lazy” Copyeditor?

Like all professional copyeditors, I try to keep up with news in my field, which means browsing the posts and articles of editors, grammarians, linguists, and lexicographers online. I do this both through RSS feed subscriptions—Feedly is my reader of choice—and also by bookmarking

But Is It Wrong?

One of the primal joys in life is to do good work. When the suit fits, the accounts balance, or the pie crust is flakey, someone takes pride in it.

In editing, it feels good to make corrections, tidy things up, and serve the reader. It feels good to put knowledge into practice. And—admit it—it feels good to spot an error! . . . Problems arise when

3* Rookie Editing Goofs You Can Stop Making Right Now

Some lessons are harder to learn than others. Unfortunately for new copyeditors, sometimes the only way to recognize bad habits is to get slammed a few times by writers pushing back or by supervisors writing stet all over the copy. So let me save you some grief and humiliation! Here are three bad habits I identified the hard way as a young editor.