Sunday, October 30, 2005

A language maven’s lament ;)

Maven (pronounced may-vinn)—a Yiddish word meaning expert or connoisseur (from the Hebrew, pronounced may-veen)

Quoth a sister blogger, a few months ago, lamenting the inability of some musicians to compose lyrics in reasonably grammatical English, “some of us are just destined to be librarians.”

Sigh. And some of us are destined to be “copy editors.” Of sorts. Spending our days in front of computer screens, cleaning up other peoples’ word usage, spelling, grammatical errors, and, with any luck, punctuation errors.

And then being told that, because someone neglected to review the text that he gave me to ensure that all the information contained therein was correct, I may have to go back into my e-mail, bring up a copy of the file in question that I e-mailed a month ago, and replace all the new text that it took me three days to enter (because I had to retain some of the old text and paste the new stuff in paragraph by paragraph, editing and reformatting as I went) with the original text. !#$%^&*!!!!!!!!!!

And, to make matters even worse, not even the Wiz, who’s helped me solve about 95% of my formatting problems, can figure out how to do a “universal reformat” for footnotes. Which means that, after editing and reformatting an entire book manuscript, I’m going to have to go back to the beginning of the manuscript and reformat every single footnote individually.

I can’t afford to tear my hair out. My hair’s thin enough as it is. :(

So maybe I should spend more time worrying about punctuation. I never did quite figure out the difference in rules between a colon and a period. A period always goes inside the quotation marks, as far as I know. Does a colon go inside or outside the quotation marks?

Holy Moses, Shira, have you forgotten that the Jewish blogosphere includes at least three medical doctors and a nurse? And you’re writing about “colons” and “periods??!!” Can you imagine where some of those fine folks could go with words like those??!!

Why do I have visions of another flurry of Instant Messages going back and forth between Wisconsin and California, rather like that “Bagel” business posted here on Wednesday, September 28, 2005? :)


Blogger PsychoToddler said...

As long as you don't have your period in your colon, I think you're ok.

Mon Oct 31, 10:18:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Laughing too hard to type. :)

Tue Nov 01, 12:57:00 AM 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're working on editing manuscripts, try switching to Nota Bene software. It is the favorite of competent rabbinic and talmudic authority (ok, my wife - but she fits both descriptions) from coast to coast.

Tue Nov 01, 04:09:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I'm curious as to the advantages of Nota Bene.

But I work for a non-profit organization that's probably too cheap to pay for it.

Re your wife, wish I had her knowledge. (Workin' on it.)

Tue Nov 01, 06:10:00 PM 2005  

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