Copyediting update

It has not been pretty around here at Fernham. When I anticipated what my copyedited manuscript would look like, I feared the red pencil of a stickler or the queries of a smart but pedantic and unsympathetic reader. Instead, my copyeditor did very little at all.

Sure, she went through the whole manuscript and painstakingly marked every footnote reference, em-dash, accent mark, and italicized word, but I have found dozens of appalling errors that she missed. Worst of all, these errors are mine: I’m disappointed that she didn’t catch them, but I’m the one who wrote a couple sentences without capital letters, who began one sentence with “in particularly," who typed “as” when I meant “at.”

Every time I catch an error, I feel a tremendous wave of relief. This soon ebbs and a briefer echo wave of anxiety touches the shore. What else am I missing?

I find that, in a rather brief book, I’ve used the word diminution four times. I have a habit of piling on noun phrases linked only by commas. Sometimes I like the rush of this but, at other times, I don’t quite know why I didn’t have time to write and. I’ve had to look up hubbub, hard-nosed, and grass roots.

The Chicago Manual is my best friend. Chapters have been farmed out to my husband, my colleague, my writing group. (See what I mean about avoiding and--that’s just how that sentence came out.) I have been through the whole thing, quickly, once, and have a week and a bit to go through it again. So, that’s what’s going on here.