Let’s not get laissez-faire over this. There are rules! So, settle down with your café noir, if that’s your preference, and let’s discuss italics.
Every time I walk into a branch of a, well-known, discount chain, I am distracted by the massive sign they have above one of the aisles. It tells me that I can buy “DVD’s” there.
Do you know your recto from your verso? What’s the difference between MSS and MS? What is this stet I keep seeing on the page? Definitions at the end of the post!
Rude! You should never ask that question!
But, are you the oldest in the room? Or the eldest? What’s the difference?
This is something that gets me each time I come across it. I don’t know why, but I must look it up each time I come across this in a manuscript.
They’re six foot. No, they’re six-feet. Or are they six foot tall? Six-foot-tall?
Well, I’m sure you’ve put your best frock on for this blog post but I’m not here to compliment you!
Instead, we’re going to look at all the different dashes and lines on your page, what the differences are and when you might use them.
My job is frequently portrayed as being about pedantry. The correct use of the comma, the correct use of subject, verb agreement, the correct spellings.
But that’s not always the case.
Many people believe that English is full of rules that must not be broken. They are slaves to finding the “correct” version.
Whilst many words do have “correct” versions, there are many examples of words that need choices to be made and then applied consistently. Take, for example, the word “banister”, a pretty ordinary noun and one that you wouldn’t think twice about. Right?
Editing is not just about finding and correcting typos. Your editor may be able to do all sorts of things for your manuscript and for your writing: from correcting spelling and punctuation errors to plot and character development.
I’ve just finished a proofread of a collection of short stories and am looking back at the range of tools and sources I used to complete this job. It’s amazing at the amount of reference material needed to accurately check a text and here is just a summary of the tools I use, some regularly, some less so.