Re: Value Add

Subject: Re: Value Add
From: voxwoman <voxwoman -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
Date: Thu, 5 May 2011 10:31:16 -0400

I'm proofreading the second of 5 romance novels now for an e-book release.
Almost all the errors (so far) are from the OCR scanning process. However,
my mother (of blessed memory) proofread her galleys before publication.

On Thu, May 5, 2011 at 6:56 AM, Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>wrote:

> On 05/05/2011 05:07 AM, Janice Gelb wrote:
>> Next time you have to defend the value of copyediting, show
>> the doubter this corrections list from Modernist Cuisine
> Wow! With the possible exception of "miniscule" none of those errors could
> be caught by spelling-correction software.
> That one web page could serve as the sole marketing tool for someone
> seeking to establish a business as a copy editor.
> Out of curiosity I just checked my grandmother's 1908 edition of the Boston
> Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer. No errors whatever could
> be found on random pages. Possible reasons for the high quality of copy
> editing in this and other old books include:
> 1. Several editions - 1908 saw the eighth edition of FMF's book.
> 2. Actual proofreading - every page endured careful examination.
> 3. Many eyes - FMF was not the sole proofreader.
> 4. Standard spelling and grammar - prescriptive education was common.
> 5. Test of time and use - the book's very quality helped it survive a
> century.
> 6. A scientific approach - FMF was famed for her exact and level
> measurements, her experimentation, and her easy-to-understand style.
> Over the last few decades the process for producing paperback novels has
> been terribly rushed, so it seems. Examples abound. Anne McCaffrey's "Get
> Off the Unicorn" was supposed to have been "Get of the Unicorn", but
> something went wrong. Romance novels are spell-checked but not proofread,
> with amusing reaults. Cover art for those romances is produced by artists
> who cannot (or do not) read, or who somehow do not understand that a horse's
> reins must connect to a bit. (My wife, a poor proofreader, catches all these
> errors.)
> Computer books receive similarly bad treatment, likely because they are
> usually as ephemeral as the cheap novels. There is often no second edition.
> Cookbooks just might be the epitome of technical writing. Some become
> standards, and get a chance at new editions and a possible increase in
> quality. I still prefer, however, my old 1975 pre-microwave edition of
> Rombauer & Becker's Joy of Cooking to the anti-explanatory 1997 edition.
I swear by my 1978 "Joy of Cooking" that I received as a wedding present,
however the reprint of Julia Childs' "French Chef Cookbook" (reprinted due
to the movie) is better than the paperback with the same name that I
acquired in 1972.


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Re: Value Add: From: Peter Neilson

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