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Other titles in the Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, & Publishing series:
Subversive Copy Editor (09 Edition)by Carol Fisher Saller
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
Each year writers and editors submit over three thousand grammar and style questions to the Q&A page at The Chicago Manual of Style Online. Some are arcane, some simply hilarious—and one editor, Carol Fisher Saller, reads every single one of them. All too often she notes a classic author-editor standoff, wherein both parties refuse to compromise on the "rights" and "wrongs" of prose styling: "This author is giving me a fit." "I wish that I could just DEMAND the use of the serial comma at all times." "My author wants his preface to come at the end of the book. This just seems ridiculous to me. I mean, its not a post-face."
In The Subversive Copy Editor, Saller casts aside this adversarial view and suggests new strategies for keeping the peace. Emphasizing habits of carefulness, transparency, and flexibility, she shows copy editors how to build an environment of trust and cooperation. One chapter takes on the difficult author; another speaks to writers themselves. Throughout, the focus is on serving the reader, even if it means breaking "rules" along the way. Sallers own foibles and misadventures provide ample material: "I mess up all the time," she confesses. "Its how I know things."
Writers, Saller acknowledges, are only half the challenge, as copy editors can also make trouble for themselves. (Does any other book have an index entry that says "terrorists. See copy editors"?) The book includes helpful sections on e-mail etiquette, work-flow management, prioritizing, and organizing computer files. One chapter even addresses the special concerns of freelance editors.
Sallers emphasis on negotiation and flexibility will surprise many copy editors who have absorbed, along with the dos and donts of their stylebooks, an attitude that their way is the right way. In encouraging copy editors to banish their ignorance and disorganization, insecurities and compulsions, the Chicago Q&A presents itself as a kind of alter ego to the comparatively staid Manual of Style. In The Subversive Copy Editor, Saller continues her mission with audacity and good humor.
For more than fifteen years, the manuscript editing department of the Press has overseen online publication of the monthly Chicago Manual of Style Q&A, choosing interesting questions from a steady stream of publishing-related queries from Manual users and providing thoughtful and/or humorous answers in a smart, direct, and occasionally cheeky voice. More than 28,000 followers have signed up to receive e-mail notification when new Q& A content is posted monthly, and the site receives well over half a million visitors annually. But Can I Start a Sentence with “But”? culls from the extensive Q&A archive a small collection of the most helpful and humorous of the postings and provides a brief foreword and chapter introductions. The material is organized into seven chapters that cover matters of editorial style, capitalization, punctuation, grammar and usage, citation and quotation, formatting and other non-language issues, and a final chapter of miscellaneous items. Together they offer an informative and amusing read for editors, other publishing professionals, and language lovers of all stripes.
About the Author
Carol Fisher Saller is a senior manuscript editor at the University of Chicago Press and the editor of TheChicago Manual of Style Onlines Q&A.
Table of Contents
Introduction: I Hear You
Part One: Working with the Writer, For the Reader
1 The Subversive Copy Editor
2 The Good Launch
3 Working for the Reader, through the Writer: Carefulness, Transparency, Flexibility
4 When Things Get Tough: The Difficult Author
5 Dear Writers: A Chapter of Your Own
Part Two: Working with Your Colleagues and Yourself
6 When Things Get Tough (the Sequel): The Dangerous Manuscript
7 Know Thy Word Processor
8 The Living Deadline
9 That Damned Village: Managing Work Relationships
10 The Freelancers Quandaries
11 The Zen of Copyediting
Appendix: You Still Want to Be a Copy Editor? Breaking In
What Our Readers Are Saying
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