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[2b2k] My only mistake

I heart copy editors.

I got the copy-edited version of Two Big to Know on Friday, and I’ve started reading through it. My copy editor (am I allowed to say she’s Christine Arden?) has read the book with incredible care and sympathy. She unties knotted sentences, irons out wrinkly paragraphs, and generally clears the path for the reader. It is a skill and a talent not to be underestimated. (And, yes, she would undoubtedly have flagged the mixed metaphors in this paragraph.)

I’m only 1.5 chapters in, but I can already see, thanks to Christine, that I tend to misplace my “only’s.” For example, given the chance I will write “He only trained for two months” when “He trained for only two months” is both clearer and stronger. Or, to give you a real example: “Of course, the Net can only scale that large because it doesn’t have edges within which knowledge has to squeeze” now reads “Of course, the Net can scale that large only because…etc.”

I also make every other possible mistake.

On the other hand, I’m going to push for spelling “email” without the hyphen, despite my publisher’s house rules. Real words don’t have hyphens.

Thank you Christine, and thank you copy editors everywhere!

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2 Responses to “[2b2k] My only mistake”

  1. Thank God for copy editors. My local mullet-wrapper reporters drive me crazy with their wandering “only”. I still hyphenate e-mail but concede that it’s on its way out. Rules for the hyphen and the apostrophe were the hardest to teach teenagers decades ago when I taught high school English. They just didn’t see that it mattered.

    BTW, isn’t the advent of computers, spell checkers, and citizen journalism online tending to make copy editors an endangered career field?

  2. Good to know the book we await with so many expectations is in this stage !

    Any guesses when will it go into the bookstores (and into my Kindle) ?

    All the best David !


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