Thursday, July 15, 2010
jumping through hoops
... is one way of describing the experience of editing a long, long 33-chapter volume. I thought that I had sent it all off happily some months back, and the next time I'd see it would be for copy-editing. But no. Seemingly (and any contributor who is reading had better start groaning now) there is another stage first: a kind of post-editorial, pre copy-editing stage, where the whole manuscript gets returned to the editor who realises that yes, she was meant to ensure standard British punctuation throughout (and today was the first time ever that I learned that in the US - or should that be U.S.? - a comma goes inside quotation marks, which is where I comfortably place them, and in UK style, it goes outside. That holds true for quotations, for titles of articles in footnotes ... and there went some ellipses. Ellipses that have a gap before ... and after, rather than running straight on from the word that they follow. It goes without saying that UK quotation marks are single, and not double, as in this country. And so on. There's only a relatively small number of actual editorial queries, compared with all this punctuation, but the sheer matter of re-positioning commas is going to keep me busy for quite a while. Sigh.