Tuesday, January 26, 2010

copyediting and book pirates

The Book Pirates of Peru:
There is one problem with the myth about pirates bringing literature to the masses: street-level vendors tend to congregate in the same middle and upper-class neighborhoods where you find the bookstores. Their clients are people with money. One critic calls it a cultural problem: “The same people who would never consider buying fake whisky think nothing of buying a pirated book. There’s no respect for intellectual production in this country.” Here, an upper-class woman buys a copy of Orhan Pamuk’s most recent novel The Museum of Innocence
Some useful questions to try on people who claim to be copy editors (via Making Light). Regarding #3, Emma's favorite stylebook for decades has been the Chicago Manual of Style. My usual solution is to defer to Emma, but sometimes I just go with my quirks, because as e. e. cummings knew, it's okay to make up your own style. But if you do, it's nice to be consistent with your quirks. Readers can tell the difference between quirkiness and carelessness.

Related funnies: How to use a semicolon: The most feared punctuation on Earth

girls with slingshots