Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Good Afternoon

Lady Ise, Japanese Court Poet

This morning on the way to work, I finished reading Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies by Suzanne Gilad. The last section was about working as a copyrighter or proofreader. It is not something which I plan on doing anytime soon. However, they had an excellent example of a freelancers invoice which I might use somewhere else. Also, they gave some good tips on how to build clientele if you are working on your own.

I found the book quite interesting. There is of course a reminder to not eat while you are editing a document, no one likes food stains on their work. At the library we find a variety of things in books; food stains, dollar bills, old photographs, bookmarks, credit cards, and bus passes. I am going to add to the not eating part. Please don't read a library book in the bathtub. Soaked books are no fun.

If you want to get a better understanding of what an editor or proofreader does this book is quite good. I can recommend it highly.

I spent a little bit of time this morning compiling patron requests for items at our library. I also filled in for someone at the morning reference desk.

On the train home, I plan on reading Spunk & Bite A writer's guide to punchier, more engaging language & style by Arthur Plotnik.

I have read the opening of chapter of Spunk & Bite. It starts with the argument of the descriptivists versus the proscriptivists. Descriptives believe that language gains its relevancy from actual use. Grammar and structure should reflect how people currently use language. Proscriptivists believe grammar should follow proscribed fixed rules of use.

I tend towards the descriptivist side; maybe this is because I am good at describing things clearly, but am prone to make mistakes according to proscribed rules. This might also be the story of my life. If I follow what I think is right, I often succeed better than if I follow the "letter of the law."

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