Written by Carl Rosenberg; copy edited by Meagan Kus
On Saturday, April 22, Editors BC will present Frances Peck, who will give a full-day workshop called The Secrets of Syntax. In this workshop, participants will look at syntax from various angles and explore how to shape it for different kinds of texts, styles, and readers.
Frances Peck is a Certified Professional Editor (Hon.) and writer who has worked with words for over 25 years. She prepared the Canadian edition of The St. Martin’s Workbook, a grammar exercise book; co-authored the popular HyperGrammar website; and wrote Peck’s English Pointers, a collection of articles and quizzes available on the Language Portal of Canada. A partner with West Coast Editorial Associates, Frances teaches at Douglas College and UBC and gives workshops across Canada. She is also a sometime blogger and a fiction writer.
Carl Rosenberg, a volunteer on Editors BC’s communications and social media committee, spoke to Frances about her work on language and syntax.
Written by Nancy Tinari; copy edited by Karen Barry
Review of “Yes, I Could Care Less: How to Be a Language Snob Without Being a Jerk” by Bill Walsh.
Yes, I Could Care Less is a funny book for editors. It’s for editors because, like Bill Walsh, we care about words deeply. We recognize aspects of our own personalities in his self-mockery about his obsessive-compulsive quirkiness and his editorial pet peeves. It’s a book for editors rather than a general audience because Walsh, a copy editor at The Washington Post since 1997, tackles some of the most difficult copy-editing conundrums that often stymie editors. Topics include subject-verb agreement “follies” with expressions like “a lot” and “one of those people,” restrictive/non-restrictive clauses with their tricky use of commas and the which/that choice, how to handle trademarks, difficult decisions about hyphenation, and the pitfalls of typesetting technology.
Yes, I Could Care Less reveals what a subjective task editing can be. There are rules, style books, and house style guides, but there are many issues upon which even expert copy editors will not agree. The book opened my eyes about the potential for creativity and what Walsh calls “tiny acts of elegance” in editing work.