14 Apr The language of copy editing
I’ve just finished a 14-week class in copy editing, which is offered as part of the publishing program at Ryerson University. When I signed up for the class, I wasn’t sure how much new information I’d be learning; after all, I’ve been copy editing my friends’ and colleagues’ work for years.
Actually, I had a lot to learn, and in fact, it was a bit like learning a new language. Albeit, this language mostly consists of copy editor’s symbols (see above) and bits of publishing jargon, but a new vernacular none the less.
Copy editing is a wonderfully pedantic art, and each class sparked fierce battles over the finer points of punctuation, grammar, capitalization and the like. Sound maddening? Copy editing isn’t for everyone, but this class certainly piqued my interest.
The above image is taken from the 15th Chicago Manual of Style, a.k.a the copy editor’s bible.