What It Is (posts below left; rate sheet, client list, other stuff below right)

My name is Bob Land. I am a full-time freelance editor, indexer, and proofreader. This blog is my website.

You'll find my rate sheet and client list here, as well as musings on the life of a freelancer; editing, proofreading, and indexing concerns and issues; my ongoing battles with books and production; and the occasional personal revelation.

Feel free to contact me directly with additional questions: landondemand@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting. Leave me a comment. Come back often.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Comfort? I don't want no stinking comfort

You know, as much as I've railed against them on this blog, style manuals are one place in my life where I desire heavy doses of totalitarianism. Tell me what to do, so when I'm pestered about it, I can blame it on someone else.

I was wondering about the possessive of "corps" -- corps's? corps'? -- and was directed to CMOS 7.21, where they give their rule, such as it is, and then go on to say, "Opt for this practice only if you are comfortable with it and are certain that the s is indeed unpronounced." (By the way, no 's' after the apostrophe when the 's' at the end of the root word is unpronounced.)

What is this "only if you are comfortable with it" jive? What the hell does my comfort level have to do with anything? Isn't that the whole point of style guides, to give me some standard to go by, even if it makes me uncomfortable as hell? If all I needed to rely on was my own comfort, publishers throughout our fair nation would be in a world of hurt. Multiply that by the comfort of all the other freelancers out there, and you'd have anarchy. Anarchy, I tell you.

3 comments:

Matthew Sheahan said...

I'm glad you discovered my blog and told me about yours. Once I figure out this new blog layout, I'll link to your site.

moi said...

Fudkin' hell. I thought corps was ALREADY plural! I think the world would be a far, far better place if we just eliminated – or at least avoided – the word altogether.

czar said...

Moi:

Possessive, not plural. Everyone knows the plural of corps is corpses. Or maybe that's just what happens to them. Well, I guess it happens to everybody.