Monday, October 10, 2011

Around the Word

Writer, heal thyself's copy: As we all know, it's much easier to catch and correct mistakes in others' writing than in our own. But what if you don't have the luxury of tapping an outside set of eyes to copyedit your material before submitting it for publication? In that case, you might want to check out this handy self-editing cheat sheet that  Subversive Copy Editor blogger Carol Saller recently posted over the weekend on the Chronicle of Higher Education's Lingua Franca page. Her list of things to look out for (like "throat clearing" and pet phrases) and things you can probably ignore (the passive voice, split infinitives) are sure to help you through your next round of solo proofing. What tricks do you use when editing your own prose? 

Consider the footnote: Of all the casualties in the publishing e-volution -- brick-and-mortar bookstores, that distinctive book smell -- it should come as no surprise that the footnote has been an afterthought. Footnotes in most e-books have been relegated to the back of the text, making them endnotes, and therefore even less likely to be read. This frustrates footnote-happy authors like Alexandra Horowitz, who addressed the issue in a New York Times essay last week. "The e-book isn't killing the book," she wrote. "Instead, it's killing the 'page' " -- and the footnote along with it. Would you be sad to see the footnote go?

The future of English? Over the last few decades, linguists have watched English spread globally to become the dominant tongue in international business, politics and technology. But now that China, India, and other non-Western nations are rising on the world stage, can we safely assume English will remain the dominant lexical currency -- or could it go the way of Latin after the fall of Rome? Linguistic scholar Dennis Barron takes this foundational question for a spin on the Oxford University Press blog, exploring the possibility that English my evolve in localized spin-off languages, like Latin and the Romance languages, or that a different tongue may find supremacy altogether. Where do you see the future of English headed?

Please Publish Me: Another humor blog has found publishing success in an increasingly familiar Cinderella story. -- a site chronicling the struggles of the mal-employed -- just sold the book rights to Citadel Press, reports GalleyCat. Blogs are becoming a popular source for publishers scouting for new humor books, and many bloggers are jumping at the chance to go from the minimal revenue of blog life to a publishing deal and an advance. What's your bet on the next cult blog to score a book deal?

No comments: