Pobody’s nerfect

Let’s face it—even we editors have our spelling nemeses. I’m talking about the words and names we always have to look up because we are always misspelling them otherwise. Here are some of my personal bugaboos:

Cincinnati. I always want to write “CInncinnati.” It seems as if having a double N in every place for which an N is called would make more sense than using one N and then using two.

Millennium. I used to write “Milennium,” In order to remember the correct spelling, I now think of the French word “mille,” meaning “one thousand,” and note that this word has two L’s, just like the English word “millennium.”

Fulfill. This is a hard one because my mind always thinks that when you fulfill an order, you make it “full.” So why shouldn’t it be spelled “fullfill”? Don’t ask.

Conscientious. This one is so bad that I had to look it up as I was typing this post. I always think of a conscience, which has a C near the end but no T anywhere in it. So why should we stick a T in this adjective?

Massachusetts. Oh, this is my worst one. I tend to write “Massachussetts.” Why use two S’s the first time and two T’s near the end, but only one S the second time? It makes absolutely no sense.

This is why every editor needs access to the Merriam-Webster website, as well as the latest print edition of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. And remember—never, ever be too lazy to look up a word or name if you have any doubts as to the spelling. You don’t want to end up with egg on your face and/or make your client look foolish.

If you have any words or names that continually give you grief, feel free to share them.  

Biting the bullet

As an editor, there have come times in my career when I have had to edit while my body is sick or in pain. The last couple of weeks have been such times.

I currently have bronchitis (although it’s not as bad now, thanks to the antibiotics) and bronchitis can last for months. Hence, I have been doing an awful lot of coughing lately. So how can an editor focus when she is coughing up a storm every half hour or so?

First, I need to remember that the world does not grind to a halt because I am sick (unless my illness has me bedridden, which is another whole ball game).

Second, I assess what over-the-counter remedies I need to keep me functioning, purchase them if needed, and take them according to the directions on the container. They keep me focused and functioning—as long as the container does not say “May cause drowsiness.” If I see those words, I run!

With bronchitis, I have to figure out how bad my cough is at the moment. If I cough for just five seconds or so, I brush it off and keep working. If, however, it’s one of those can’t–breathe, ten–second–long, red–in–the–face coughing fits, it is worth it to stop my timer and get up from the computer to catch my breath (and make a doctor’s appointment). By the way, the latter kind of cough is extremely distressing, but despite this, I can continue to work soon afterwards as long as I do not also have a fever (as I did two weeks ago).

If you are about to ask me what I would do if I had COVID, the answer is, “I’ve never had it, so I don’t know how bad my symptoms would be. If I could get up and walk around without feeling horrific, I would continue to work. If I had a high fever or could not get out of bed, however, I would rest and send my husband to buy some meds for my symptoms. And in either case, I would keep testing myself and waiting for only one line to appear on the test strip.”

It’s all basically a judgment call.

Missing in action? No…illness in action.

Hello and Happy New Year.

I informed you in my December 18 post that I would be taking Christmas Day off blogging, and that is exactly what I did. I also informed you that I would be back on New Year’s Day, discussing my goals for 2023. I was not. This was because I was ill. I fell ill three days after Christmas with a wicked respiratory infection which quickly morphed into a severe case of bronchitis. (I am very prone to bronchitis and almost every single cold I get morphs into it very quickly.) Would you believe that after a week and a half, two doctor’s visits, tons of over-the-counter medicines and a round of antibiotics of which I am currently in the middle, I am still on the mend? The good news is that I feel better and have less symptoms every day now.

That’s enough explaining. So what are my goals for 2023?

  1. I want to save up enough money to attend the EFA conference (EFACON) in Alexandria, Virginia in August. I know I recently lamented on this blog about not being able to attend the ACES Conference in Columbus, Ohio in March due to financial constraints. Since Alexandria is in my general metropolitan area, EFACON would be a good “starter conference” for me. There are many people in EFA whom I “know” from the organization’s communications, lists, and classes, and I would absolutely love to network with them.
  • I want to have enough of a workflow to keep me editing every workday, with few or no “dry spells.” (Thankfully, this seems to have already begun to happen—right now I am working on two projects simultaneously.)
  • (This is a more personal one.) I want to have enough courage to take people to task when they use the word “retarded” as a put-down. A lot of people think this is harmless. It’s not. Period.

Would you like to share your goals for 2023?