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 and proofreader, and occasional indexer. 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.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Blind Pig

No, this is not a self-reference, funsters.

It's that even the blind pig (or squirrel) finds an acorn now and then.

I'm actually editing a book now that is well-written and interesting (so far). Trust me, folks, it doesn't happen often. The book is about the rebuilding of New Orleans, and for now that's about all I'll say. I don't want to jinx anything.

But the copyediting brings up an interesting question of when do you forgo the style manual in favor of what seems logical or easier on the reader.

According to Chicago, there should be an s after the possessive form for New Orleans; thus, New Orleans's levees.

This book does not follow Chicago, but rather seems to be more of an APA style (American Psychological Association), which is standard for social science. But APA is silent on apostrophes. So, the tendency is to default to Chicago.

The authors/editors (it's a multiauthor book, and they or the press has done a fine job cleaning it up before it came to me) have not put the apostrophe after New Orleans', or Corps', for that matter.

To me it looks funny, because I spend most of my life in a Chicago world. But do I controvert the apparently intentional decision of the press and the authors to make it look right to me? Or do I leave it alone, under the labor-saving law, not to mention that most readers would think "New Orleans's" would look funny.

I'm coming down on the side of leaving it alone. And this press, in its notes to the copyeditor, seems to take an approach of "if it's logical and consistent, that's OK with us."

This post isn't particularly interesting, but it's a glimpse into the minutiae of the business.

Far more important to me is that a friend of mine who I haven't seen in 20-something years is coming here day after tomorrow . . . and is trying to move here, to Bristol VA, of all places that he could choose from. Not only is this good news for me, but it's good news for Bristol on any number of different accounts.

Well, back to a project that I actually don't mind working on. And how many times have I said that thus far? Let's all keep our collective fingers crossed, although that's hell on typing.


1 comment:

moi said...

Oh thank gawd. I always knew, just KNEW, it was New Orleans's.

Ach. APA Style. American PSYCHO Association, if you ask Moi. They are, indeed, mute on much. And besides, Chicago just has that gorgeous orange heft about it. Not that I've ever cracked MY copy, mind you. That's what you're for :o).