Feb 20
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No Trespassing sign

photo by Julie Jor­dan Scott https://​www​.flickr​.com/​p​e​o​p​l​e​/​j​u​l​i​e​j​o​r​d​a​n​s​c​ott/

Mary Nor­ris, a query proof­reader at The New Yorker mag­a­zine, writes in the Feb­ru­ary 23, 2015, issue:

There is a fancy word for “going beyond your province”: “ultra­crep­i­date.” So much of copy edit­ing is about not going beyond your province. Anti-ultracrepidationism. Writ­ers might think we’re apply­ing rules and stick­ing it to their prose in order to make it fit some stan­dard, but just as often we’re back­ing off, mak­ing excep­tions, or at least try­ing to find a bal­ance between doing too much and doing too lit­tle. A lot of the deci­sions you have to make as a copy edi­tor are sub­jec­tive. For instance, an issue that comes up all the time, whether to use “that” or “which,” depends on what the writer means. It’s inter­pre­tive, not mechanical.…

This is so true! As I copy­edit someone’s work, I con­sider my job, first and fore­most, not to be mak­ing all gram­mar and punc­tu­a­tion rigidly cor­rect. In the first place, how — or whether — punc­tu­a­tion is used is, as Nor­ris states, inter­pre­tive, so I’m always striv­ing to under­stand what the author wants read­ers to under­stand. If an author’s comma will lead read­ers to under­stand a sen­tence dif­fer­ently than what I believe the author intends, it’s my job to remove that comma — even if the author really likes that comma! If I’m not sure what the author intends in a sen­tence, it’s my job to query him or her and double-check. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 6
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Below is a press release from an awe­some com­pany I copy­edit for! (Unfor­tu­nately, the for­mat­ting gets a lit­tle glitched when I place it in Word­Press.) They held an Annual Meet­ing at the end of April, and I would have LOVED to be able to attend, but it wasn’t fea­si­ble. The video clips and pho­tos, how­ever, show how much fun they had together, and give you a taste of what great peo­ple I get to work with — albeit remotely!(Oh, and I copy­edited this press release, too!)

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Jan 23
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'Day 73' photo (c) 2008, Bastian - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

I have a Google Alert for the phrase “copy edi­tor needed,” so every once in a while a pos­si­ble project oppor­tu­nity floats into my email inbox. I got a kick out of yesterday’s:

Assis­tant Copy Edi­tor Needed

… is look­ing for an Assis­tant Copy Edi­tor. The Assis­tant Copy Edi­tor will train under … the cur­rent copy edi­tor. … We are start­ing our search early because of the high spec­i­fi­ca­tions we have for this posi­tion. They are as fol­lows: Read the rest of this entry »

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