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 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
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.
For Freelance Editors: How to Set Fees. Anyone who has something to sell faces a dilemma when it comes to deciding on a price: ask too much and no one will buy; ask too little and you won’t earn enough money. In freelance editing, the second option carries an added danger: ask too little and you could be swamped with competing deadlines.
The Editor’s Toughest Challenge. In my view, the most regrettable copyediting disasters come in the form of errors introduced by the editor. Letting a writer’s original mistake survive is certainly cause for regret, but nothing’s worse than knowing that the work was correct until you messed it up!
The Danger in Drudgery. The most mind-numbing job I ever had was in an insurance company filing papers—carts full of policies to put in numerical order, hour after hour, 1064952, 2586027, 1943902, 1064951. The only thing that kept me awake was the occasional paper cut. I’m sure they’re still looking for some of the policies I misfiled in my stupor.
Every writer or editor is faced with a mindless task now and then: alphabetizing, renumbering, abbreviating . . .
Searching CMOS Online: Finding Your Way in The Chicago Manual of Style. Here’s a secret we’ve been trying hard not to keep: you can use the online edition to find things in the print edition even if you don’t subscribe online. Here are three ways to do that.
“Work-to-Rule”: Advice for Meeting a Deadline. Merriam-Webster.com defines “work-to-rule” as “the practice by workers of refusing to do any work that is not strictly required as a part of their jobs in order to protest something (such as unfair working conditions).” Well, that’s too harsh for my purposes. But it hints
Do You Follow Grammar “Rules” That You Don’t Understand? Those of us who use social media are used to seeing comments from sticklers who object to the slightest deviation from the grammar rules they learned. The following sentences would not likely pass their inspection. Can you tell why?
“I know there’s a rule . . . but where?” Writers and editors are used to keeping reference books close at hand or bookmarked online: dictionaries, search engines, style manuals. Even so, there are times we’re simply at a loss. How do you find a grammar or usage rule when you don’t know what it’s called or where to look it up?