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.
How does a professional copyeditor know when it’s time to retire? Freelancers especially may be tempted to sail on past the age at which in-house editors are encouraged to put down the red pencil. But in either case, how long is too long? Here are some questions to consider.
For the purposes of this post, let’s presume that viral posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms do have influence, and that the world would be better if people considered more carefully and more often the opposing point of view. If you agree, consider three sharing practices
As a reader of the email that comes to The Chicago Manual of Style, I regularly find myself explaining the purpose of the illustrations (figures and tables) to puzzled users. Two recent queries:
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,
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
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
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.
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.
Recently a reader wrote to us questioning some of the alphabetizing recommendations in The Chicago Manual of Style . . .