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A blog for my academic ideas, more or less.

Copy-Editing Fetish

I copy-edited a friend’s article to get it down by a couple of hundred words.

Here are the traces of my work.

p.2, ‘Louise Graham is hiding from the mob in a resort in Montana…’; remove ‘in a resort in Montana’, SIX WORDS.
p.2, ‘No.’ to ‘fact, please.’; delete, the sense of it is clear enough, EIGHTEEN WORDS.
p.2, ‘We can even…’just information’; delete — I think you’ll disagree on this but I think your point has been made sufficiently, SIXTEEN WORDS.
p.3 ‘the term information’s….reductionism’; delete, SIX WORDS.
p.3, ‘The German giant of philosophy Martin’; delete, SIX WORDS.
p.3, ‘how did…as information’; delete, SEVEN WORDS.
p.3, ‘in the end, now’; delete ‘now’, ONE WORD.
p.3, ‘To show how this happens’; change to ‘As example’, THREE WORDS.
p.4, ‘every time a message is’; delete ‘every time’, TWO WORDS.
p.4, ‘speaking and hearing’; change to ‘speaking’ (or ‘speech, see below), TWO WORDS.
p.4, ‘can be part of the communication’; change to ‘counts’, FIVE WORDS.
p.5, ‘the way that the spoken’; delete ‘the way that’, THREE WORDS.
p.5, ‘(the source, transmitter, channel, receiver, destination); delete, SIX WORDS.
p.5, ‘cultures that only speak’; change to ‘oral cultures’, TWO WORDS.
p.5, ‘people would take the idea of extracting the semantic meaning from context as absurd’; change to ‘the idea of extracting the semantic meaning from context would be absurd’, TWO WORDS (I know).
p.5, ‘In fact…pre-literate culture’; delete, I think this is extraneous, and you’ve made it parenthetical pretty much, so I think you might agree, TWENTY-FIVE WORDS.
p.6, ‘in terms vastly more informational’; change to ‘in more informational terms’, ONE WORD.
p.7, ‘text message’; remove ‘text’, ONE WORD.
p.7, ‘a hearer, and with that communication could run in an endless loop’; ‘a hearer (so communication could run in an endless loop),’; TWO WORDS.
p.7, ‘Instead of interaction…other words,’; delete, TWENTY-TWO WORDS.
p.8, ‘(unless they…handwriting); delete, EIGHT WORDS.
p.8, ‘In…cause’; delete, SIX WORDS.
p.9, ‘The printing…words’; ‘Now’, ELEVEN WORDS.
p.9, ‘the rule…but’; ‘significance of’, EIGHT WORDS.
p.11, ‘relevant at all’; delete ‘at all’, TWO WORDS.
p.11, ‘In…cause’; delete, EIGHT WORDS.
p.11, ‘Essentially’; delete, ONE WORD.
p.11, ‘typically copper’; delete, TWO WORDS.
p.11, ‘The ‘indicator”; change to ‘This’, ONE WORD.
p.11, ‘in some early electrochemical experiments’; delete, FIVE WORDS.
p.11, ‘in early electromagnetic experiments’; delete, FOUR WORDS.
(These necessitate changing ‘paper darkened’ to ‘darkened paper’, and ‘water bubbled’ to ‘bubbling water’, perhaps.)
p.11, ‘Albert’; delete, ONE WORD.
p.12, ‘entirely’; delete, ONE WORD.
p.12, ‘an electrochemical’; delete ‘an’, ONE WORD.
p.13, ‘Technically…commands’; delete, points of definition unnecessary if need to cut, FOURTEEN WORDS.
p.13, ‘may see’; change to ‘sees’, ONE WORD.
p.13, ‘that we have seen’, delete, FOUR WORDS.
p.14, ‘came in history’; change to ‘evolved’, TWO WORDS.
p.14; ‘when refers to her statement about as’; change to ‘of’; SIX WORDS.

Now some typos/miscellaneous bits I noticed, in case you hadn’t. And I can never resist suggesting what I think is better style, though obviously you might not agree with my preferences.

p.1, You use the word ‘devel’ at one point — typo for ‘develop’?
p.2, footnote 4 missing year.
p.2, footnote 5 ‘writitng’ typo.
p.3, ‘computing each further bringing’; change ‘bringing’ to ‘brought’?
p.3, ‘it’s original form’; remove possessive from ‘it’s’.
p.4, ‘Reciever’; typo for ‘receiver’ — think you copy and pasted this in the diagram a few times. This was in the news recently as apparently schools are going to stop saying ‘i before e, except after c’. Careful, Leonard!
p.4, ‘four movements’; add colon after movements.
p.4, ‘forms the basic elements’; ‘is the basic process’?
p.4, for ‘speaking’, I would suggest ‘speech’, as the more traditionally used linguistic term.
p.4, have you heard of Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory? It might be interesting for you here.
p.4, ‘applies to speaking so poorly’; ‘is not useful for speaking’.
p.4, ‘the medium, everything’; semi-colon rather than comma after medium.
p.5, ‘the speakers share the same context’; I would add ‘roughly’ after ‘share’.
p.5, ‘words meanings’; ‘words’ meanings’.
p.5, ‘non verbal’; ‘non-verbal’.
p.5, ‘sunny today’; comma after this clause, and de-capitalise ‘The meaning’.
p.5, ‘menaing’; typo for ‘meaning.’
p.5, footnote 7; I would add a similar footnote to ‘Hearer’s Ears’ for ‘Or aural apparatus’.
p.6, ‘mesaging’; typo for ‘messaging’.
p.7, ‘loop that was in speaking’; ‘loop that exists in speaking’.
p.8, ‘itself, likewise’; ‘itself. Likewise’.
p.8, ‘reader and writers’; ‘readers and writers’.
p.8, ‘approaches to communication’; ‘approach to communication’.
p.13, ‘it’s content’; ‘its content’.
p.13, ‘aspects of’; ‘aspect of’.
p.13 ‘can only computer’; check sense.
p.14, ‘hence obscuring’; insert parentheses around.
p.15, ‘within frame’; ‘within a frame’.
p.15, ‘diginify’; typo for ‘dignify’.


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