Re: How long do you spend...

Subject: Re: How long do you spend...
From: "David L. Bergart" <bodafu -at- CCVAX -dot- SINICA -dot- EDU -dot- TW>
Date: Sat, 14 May 1994 00:29:45 +0800

In article <ab555 -at- freenet -dot- carleton -dot- ca> writes:
>Date: Fri, 13 May 94 23:28:28
>From: <ab555 -at- freenet -dot- carleton -dot- ca>
>Subject: How long do you spend...
>To: in%"techwr-l%osuvm1 -dot- bitnet -at- twnmoe10 -dot- edu -dot- tw" "multiple recipients of list
>X-VMS-From: IN%"ab555 -at- FREENET -dot- CARLETON -dot- CA" "Margaret Redding"
>X-POP3-Server: IUPOP3 V1.8-beta3/WINS
>X-POP3-ID: 1994-05-13.23:32:14.1446
>X-status: R

>Received: from TWNMOE10.Edu.TW by (PMDF V4.2-11 #4506) id
> <01HCB420F3NK0029BN -at- ccvax -dot- sinica -dot- edu -dot- tw>; Fri, 13 May 1994 23:28:23 +8

Margaret Redding <ab555 -at- FREENET -dot- CARLETON -dot- CA> wrote

>I have just got some work editing technical papers, and I'm paid an hourly

-- snip --

>I don't know what is reasonable to charge for. I'd appreciate others
>telling me how long it takes them to edit technical papers that need a lot
>of work. Am I just slow, or what?

Hi Margaret

With few exceptions, the papers I edit have been written by non-native
speakers of English who are poor writers in their own language. In eight to
twelve hours I can get a typical paper hammered into shape. Not polished mind,
just comprehesiible. Add another four or five to polish it a bit and
straighten-out the references. Chinese doesn't really have tense or number as
we understand it, such things are left to be elucidated by the context. This.
of course, doesn't cut the mustard in scientific writing. I once spent over
forty hours trying to grock what an author was trying to say. I concluded that
the author didn't know either.

If I understand your inference, you've just begun to do tech editing. Fairly
quickly you will start to recognize common structures in the language
and will learn to untangle them almost by rote. That will speed your work
a lot. Just be sure to put accuracy and clarity before grace. It ain't poetry.

If I told you how little I'm paid you'd call me a fool. Maybe even if I don't.


David L. Bergart bodafu -at- ccvax -dot- sinica -dot- edu -dot- tw bodafu -at- TWNAS886 -dot- bitnet
Copy oddity^h^h^h^h^h^heditor, Botanical Bulletin of Academia Sinica, Taiwan

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