Re: Editing Marks - Please Help!!!

Subject: Re: Editing Marks - Please Help!!!
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 15:09:28 -0800

Janice Gelb wrote:

We solved this by adding the marks to our style guide. I think if possible it's best to teach people the standard symbols. They may not be working for the small firm (or big disorganized firm) forever and the standard marks are just that, fairly standard.

That's a good idea - but only if you can persuade people to learn. All too often, you can't. The same people who can go home with a book on the weakend and be decent beginners with Perl or Python can't seem to retain a few dozen half-familiar symbols in their minds. As a result, you're left using a communication system that nobody except you understands.

What's worse, writers seem inclined to use proofreading marks because that's the correct or professional way to edit - not because they're useful. This attitude is a good example of being more focused on the tool than on the task at hand.

If you're working to
become a freelance editor, it's well worth your while to learn online
editing. It's generally faster and more efficient for you
Do you think so? I suspect that there may be some validity in the idea that all editing should be done on hard copy. It gives a much needed different perspective, and (unless you're on a laptop), allows you to go away into a quiet corner to concentrate. I'm also half-convinced that, when people read on paper, their brains operate more closely to the brain of someone composing, and that they can therefore edit more thoroughly.

In fact, in extreme cases, I find that writing a phrase or paragraph in longhand is a good way to analyze text. I learned this trick from several comments by Robert Graves, who was extremely successful in analyzing poems by this method. For me, the approach works as well with technical documentation and other types of writing as it does for poetry.

But of course it's probably a mistake to assume that one method works for everyone. Whatever works well is my motto.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"Now everything's lurching out of control, they're infiltrating my head,
When I woke up this morning, they were all around my bed,
If I knew who the enemy was, I'd shoot the bastard - dead."
-Leon Rosselson, "Somebody's Stolen the End of My Dream"

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Re: Editing Marks - Please Help!!!: From: Janice Gelb

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