Tag Archives: copy editing

Real quotations from William Greider

New quotes on my website with pictures of the source:

“Americans are a people who greatly value the autonomy of individuals, but have not yet learned how to value one another.”

“Most citizens (and new, untested enterprises) have little or no collateral. They are, therefore, ineligible for capital-acquisition loans (though the U.S. credit system does allow them to borrow recklessly for consumption).”

—William Greider, One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism (New York: Touchstone, 1997).

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Real Quotations: Einstein’s revered name

A new quote on my website with a picture of the source:

“Some people think that Albert Einstein’s name is magical. If they want to convince you of something or sell you something they invoke his revered name to prove that a genius agrees with whatever proposition they are peddling.”

—In a question submitted to the Quote Investigator, Oct. 31, 2011

Including quotations in a document

“How do I include quotations in my document? Should I change their language and spelling?” In a new post on her Libro Editing blog, Liz Dexter answers these questions. She explains “how to insert quotations into a text, including what to do if they are in a different variety of English, whether you should change the spellings of quotations and when it is acceptable to change a quotation,” to quote the summary.

She also answers the question “When can I use [sic] in a quotation?” and presents “the golden rule of including quotations in your text.”

Her blog post not only will help editors who need the rules for quotations laid out simply and briefly, it is a good piece for editors to provide to writers who may not know the rules.

Book review: Between You & Me

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris (New York: W. W. Norton, 2015), 200 pp; index, hardcover, $24.95.

Norris, a copy editor at the New Yorker, discusses grammar and punctuation in a chatty, breezy way, sprinkled with stories from her life and her career. She goes into some of the history of punctuation, spelling, and grammar; how copy editors use house style; and how her own career progressed. I was ready to love this book, just as I loved Brendan Gill’s Here at the New Yorker. However, Norris displays little courtesy toward the reader. Not far into the book, she tells you about a lewd costume that somebody wore to one of her Halloween parties. She discusses how pronoun usage affects her transgender brother and about pronouns and John Wayne Bobbitt. Soon she starts using the f-word and mentions that profanity should be fun. When Brendan Gill worked at the New Yorker, the writers had an informal contest to see who could get the longest sentence into print. Norris says that now there’s an informal contest to get the f-word into print the greatest number of times. One reader, chastising the New Yorker for a misspelling, wrote to ask, “Are the glory years of The New Yorker gone forever?” Maybe yes, but for different reasons.