Book review: Yes, I Could Care Less 4

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 LessYes, 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.


Event review: Editing for the ear Reply

Written by Amy Haagsma; copy edited by Karen Barry

Recap of EAC-BC’s branch meeting on January 21, 2015.

To kick off 2015, EAC-BC hosted Colin Moorhouse at our branch meeting on January 21. Colin is a Vancouver-based speech writer; he also offers presentation training and speech-writing courses. He’s found it to be an interesting niche, as he gets to share in his clients’ passions and learn about a lot of different things.

Colin explained that one of the key considerations when writing a speech is that the end product will be read aloud. Therefore, a good speech writer must appeal to the ear rather than to the eye. Rhythm, pacing, and metre are very important, as is using a colloquial tone and plain language. Speeches also convey emotion more directly than the written word.