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Valerie (Kyriosity)
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You had me going there for a while.
"You might picture indexers as nice, middle-aged women who like to talk about embroidery—and you would be partly right—until you see them in a conference session debating syndetic structure." This made me laugh. As a middle-aged woman who likes to talk about embroidery, I know that to be exactly the category of persons out of whose way I'd recommend staying in a passionate discussion of editorial matters. I've never had the pleasure(?) of creating a book index, but as a reader I give a hearty amen to your counsel here. Many's the time I've wanted to give a poor indexer a poke with an embroidery needle!
Patricia -- Yes, I remember that thread. I'm surprised I didn't put my oar into that conversation! Carol -- You're right, and that example makes it even more obvious. Fight on, sister! ;-)
I remember asking a similar question in my 9th grade English class. In my case is was about a question within a question: Why did she ask, "Where are you going?"? I wanted that second question mark. I still want it. So you'd think I'd agree with your wish to have the ? + , combination, but I'm afraid I don't. While it might fulfill my craving for logical application of the rules, it seems to me that the reader really doesn't need it. What do you think it would add to the sentence? Of course I do agree with that the rewrite is the best solution, but it's still worthwhile to explore these technicalities!
Another way to save those carpal tunnel nerves is to ditch the mouse altogether and invest in a tablet such as those produced by Wacom.* I've been using them for 12 or 14 years now, and would otherwise probably have needed surgery by now. They take some getting used to (an added bonus is getting to flummox any tech support people who come to work on your machine), but soon become second nature. *Forgive the commercial endorsement, but I love 'em! I use their most basic model -- -- and note that the price has come down 30 percent since I replaced mine.
I have certain advantages as an in-house editor for a nonprofit organization, one of which is that I can return multi-files back and ask the author to combine them.
Oh, and if I may be so bold as to suggest a way online writers can make their readers happier, studies* show that whereas serif type is easier to read in print, sans-serif type is easier to read onscreen. If sans-serif is not to be borne, then choose a serif font designed for screen reading, such as Georgia. *Which I shall be too lazy to hunt down and reference.
"If your eyes are crossing from overdesigned type...." A couple more ideas from me: I find that CTRL+A usually works well for white-on-black text (or red-on-blue or other disastrous combinations) by simply creating an easier-to-read contrast. And to avoid ugly fonts, I simply uninstall them. So go ahead and post all you want in Comic'll show up as Trebuchet in my browsers!
Stupid Typepad, among its many bugs, botches URLs in parens. Try this:
The CMOS forum ( is a terrific resource for brainstorming how to handle those fallen-between-the-cracks issues. You need to be a subscriber to CMOS online, but it is, as the kids say, so totally worth it. And along with sharing expertise, we we have a jolly good time on the forum! (P.S. Why do we say that things fall *between* the cracks? Don't they fall *into* the cracks *between* the stuff that's not cracked?)
Valerie (Kyriosity) is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 16, 2011