Parentheses, square brackets, braces and chevrons — what’s the difference? h/t Copyediting
Residents of a Massachusetts town voted 183-50 to fine those who swear in public places. John McWhorter calls the move “plain backward” and writes, “Let’s face it: In 2012, an ordinance against public profanity is like fining people for burping.” What’s your take? h/t Copyediting.com
Here’s the problem: language users have been using couple similarly to dozen for almost a hundred years. They’ve been dropping the of and using couple as an adjective since the 1920s.
If you want to check proper usage of a phrase or an idiom, Copyediting.com recommends using The Phrase Finder, a collection of phrases and idioms with notes on their meanings, origins and usage.
The Phrase Finder, started in 1997 by Gary Martin, addresses “meanings and origins of phrases and sayings” and includes common and not-so-common English phrases—all searchable and browsable alphabetically. Some phrases are grouped under “Proverbs,” “American Phrases,” “Phrases coined by Shakespeare,” “Nautical phrases,” and “Phrases from the Bible.”
Before you take on any copyediting project, make sure expectations are well defined so they can be managed.
You need to tell your client or boss right away if you can’t do the expected edit in the time you’ve been given. This situation can be hard for non-editors to understand. When I run into this situation, I demonstrate the difference between what the manuscript needs and what I can do with samples and lists.