Sunday, July 3, 2011

Late night copyediting

Late night copyediting.
Since the English section has a staff of four (one editor, two writers and a proofreader) we all tend to work 12-15 hour days, and we all end up pitching in to help each other with our tasks -- which is why I've cut so many of these entries off when we get our proofs in.

As I mentioned before, we all care a lot about grammar. I mean a lot. Two days back the proofreader and I had ... not an argument, but a spirited exchange of views about semi-colons that took up way more time and energy than it deserved. And in our time off, of course, we somehow end up talking about grammar again. This is all well and good, unless a non-deranged person overhears you.

So today we had this exchange while going through the first proofs:

Me (with way too much enthusiasm): Hey, if you're on to something, are you on to something or are you onto something?
Proofreader: I believe you're on to something.
Me: I thought so!
(At which point I look up and see the Czech writers making Significant Eye Contact with one another.)
Czech writer: Ah.

The distinction was probably clearer for the native speakers....

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