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Wealhtheow
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In a journal I used to copy-edit, one passage from one article is featured on the cover of each issue. We once got an email from that featured author thanking us very much for featuring him on the cover, but where the $*&# was the second half of his article? It had vanished during typesetting, and the editor swore it had been there in his page proofs, but he'd recycled them by that time, so there was no evidence either way. After that I overrode the editor's preferred policy of not sending proofs to authors. Years ago I worked on the notes & bibliography of, and later proofread, a book about ceramics. Raymond C. Yarbrough was repeatedly cited, sometimes spelled "Yarbrough" and sometimes spelled "Yarborough," and I changed every instance of "Yarbrough" to "Yarborough" without looking it up, only to discover after th fact that "Yarbrough" is correct. I have no excuse for this except that I was young and foolish (I may also have had pregnancy brain). Recently I opened up an old issue of another journal I used to copy-edit -- an issue that I worked on -- and immediately spotted a ?? in an endnote where I had expected the author to fill in a page number at proof, but s/he evidently hadn't. I could go on, but I think I'm sufficiently covered in shame now...
By which of course I meant "Don't quote it."
Some days I think I would be happy if my authors would just follow the most basic rule of quoting: If someone else wrote it, put it in quotation marks. Because all the other stuff I can fix. Also: If you don't understand what you're quoting, don't.
So you've met that author too, have you? Sometimes I feel like shouting at them, "You are not writing in Latin! WORD ORDER MATTERS!" But I suspect they wouldn't get the joke...
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Aug 22, 2012