Category Archives: Editing

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Pronoun Perplexity

It’s necessary for authors to be careful and explicit regarding the use of pronouns when more than one person is present in the context of a discussion. The antecedents of pronouns may be perfectly clear in the writer’s mind, but … Continue reading

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Nosing Around

This article is from the series Meditations from the Track Changes Column In the course of copyediting, I often find it useful to nose around in (aka research) what great authors of the past did. The sorts of points I seek … Continue reading

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Meditations from the Track Changes Column

In the course of editing the writing of clients, I encounter much in the way of ticks and bad habits, not to mention sheer ignorance, particularly in the writing of beginners and illiterati — of which I edit more than I’d … Continue reading

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Above and Below

Don’t you hate it when you see above and below used as nouns? This lumpy construction usually occurs when the author wants to refer to material within text in a position relative to where the monstrosity occurs. (More precisely before … Continue reading

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Footnotes Versus Endnotes

My favorite magazine, The Watchtower, has a series of study articles in the July issue that uses endnotes rather than the footnotes it has used almost if not entirely exclusively in my forty-three years of reading the journal. A friend, … Continue reading

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There Are Not All Types of People

“There are all types of people in the world.” So claims an author I’ve been editing. Sounds like a truism, right? No there’s not. To say there is sounds as though there’s some master catalog of types, and that someone … Continue reading

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A Letter to One’s Copyeditor

Dear Ed Itor. Please to find in file word proces is many words of Story, Is very very funny hilarious freinds say (ha ha!) Please to choose salubrious and make nice sentinces with sound is Good English. If maybe some … Continue reading

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Chronicles: Volume 1 — Bob Dylan

Contrary to implications from the title, and also to the customary method of presenting biography, Bob Dylan’s book Chronicles: Volume 1 is not a traditional “Born on a mountaintop in …” chronologically-told tale. We learn bits of the back story … Continue reading

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About Legacy Posts

As of July 25, 2011, I have migrated over 130 articles from my Neologistics blog, where since August 2005 I have posted many unsorted articles, including items unrelated to editing, writing, or literature. The articles copied from the old site … Continue reading

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A Former al-Qaeda Leader?

Recently I read a news story that referred to Osama Bin Laden as the “former leader of al-Qaeda”. Former? Ha! Perhaps so in the same way that Hitler is a former Nazi, or Ted Bundy a former serial murderer, if … Continue reading

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Simple Signage

In the venerable British tradition of estate naming, we call our house Haddon Hall. We named it that because we live on Haddon Road in Columbus, Ohio, also in tribute to a beautiful English medieval castle by that name. We … Continue reading

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Looking It Over

While I was an engineer at Motorola, I began editing the written work of others on a regular basis, and in doing so, discovered my ability to tear into someone else’s writing and make it better without making the author … Continue reading

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Taking Remedial English

Note: This post is a duplicate of the article by the same title on my Neologistics Blog, but here is where I originally intended to put it. I decided that rather than moving it, I would just allow the duplication … Continue reading

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Stephen King and David Foster Wallace Compared

What do authors Stephen King and David Foster Wallace have in common? As authors, other than having been successful — very little. Their work emanates from about as far from opposite sides of the universe as can be.

Their commonality from the perspective of this neologistician is that they are two writers about whom I know far more personally than I do of their written works. Continue reading

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Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition

Placeholder for a review soon to come.

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Icy Warts

… or maybe the title should be Eye Sea Wards. When I hear or speak words, I see them spelled out in my head. Similarly, when I read I tend to see the letters in individual words, so that when … Continue reading

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