A post-Christmas roundup of editing

The year’s end is nearly upon us, and these weeks are generally one of reflection and roundups — not just because the year’s about over, but because no one wants to do any new work. With that in mind, here are some roundups that actually can help you in 2011.

  1. Regret The Error’s year in review: It’s mostly amusing, but offers instruction on how mistakes are made and how to acknowledge them. If you haven’t viewed it already, it’s a must-read.
  2. Defining the value of editing: Doug Fisher looks at Steve Buttry‘s view of clean copy in a digital world. What we all should realize is that no one will make the case for copy editors (and editors, proofreaders and prior review in news and information) other than those working in the field. The value must be real, demonstrable, immediate and ongoing — not simply the lawyer’s fear of a maybe lawsuit, someday. At the risk of overlinking to it, my months-ago meager suggestions for how copy editors should save themselves.
  3. Explaining your edits is a good thing: One author is unhappy about what she views as unnecessary, unexplained and intrusive copy editing of her manuscript.
  4. Small book presses are great, but not if you need editing. This example in what, oddly, is a complimentary review:

    “… at times the typos add to the humor, as when a character’s “huge breasts overflow unappealingly from her glittery brazier.”

  5. Catch up on your finer points of editing: Copyediting.com’s year roundup. One of my favorites is the discussion of hyphenation and its all-around difficulty. 
  6. Often, free = bad. As in this version of “The Art of War.” It’s free on the Kindle, but reviews note that: “The translation is clumsy and needs improvement. Copy editing is sloppy. Numerous typos, misspellings, punctuation, and format errors”; and “Additionally, one of the chapters was out of order.”
  7. A congratulations: To my old Loyola College professor John McIntyre, who has achieved five years of blog tenure at You Don’t Say, hosted, in order, by The Sun, Blogger and The Sun again. If there’s a better example of embracing language and editing while graciously balancing that with real people and real-life demands, I’ve yet to find it.