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.

“Dos and Don’ts”: Just Don’t

We’ve all read those bossy directives from advice mongers: “Do rock a ripped T with a bright floral skirt.” “Don’t chew gum during an interview.” “Do practice blending eyeshadow with your brush.” “Don’t yank electrical cords from the wall.” Aside from being either fatuous and trendy or obvious and unhelpful, such lists actually pose some editorial dangers.

Are you a grammar troll?

For years, it seems, it’s been impossible to find a language-related post or article online without a stickler making trouble in the comments section. Even on political, social, and retail sites, outraged commenters love to point out a a missplaced apostrophe as a way to challenge the

Shortcuts in Editing (Are They Allowed?)

Shortcuts in editing may be frowned upon, but when it comes to word processing, editing shortcuts are not only allowed, they’re essential. If you’re still fumbling around in the pull-down menus, fighting with features that won’t leave you alone, and wasting time on tasks that could

Editor’s Corner

Should You Attend an Editing Conference? Attending a conference is a major expense. In addition to travel and hotel costs, registration is sometimes hundreds of dollars, and all that dining out and schmoozing at the bar adds up as well. If you’re just starting out, you’re probably watching your budget. But there are some ways to keep costs down, and the benefits might just make it worth your while.