Editing and More

BB Guns to Muumuus: All in a Week’s Work!

One of the best things about working as an independent editor is the wide variety of material I get to read, and glancing back at some of the words and ideas I’ve looked up in the past few days simply makes me smile. I can’t help it; I think words are fun.

This week, I’ve confirmed that the proper terms are barefoot (not barefooted); BB gun (no periods); good-bye (hyphenated); postdoctoral (no hyphen); swing set and wild flower (two words); and farmhouse, sailboat, and storybook (all one word) for the family-focused memoir I’m copy editing from the wife of Ernest Boyer, an influential U.S. educator. Gotta send some love to the online Merriam-Webster Unabridged for helping me through these.

Today, I added Adlai Stevenson and Estes Kefauver (1956 Democratic presidential ticket); Ralphs (no apostrophe in the supermarket name); and muumuu (yes, it really does have a double double u) while proofreading a memoir from an Iranian immigrant who had a distinguished career in civil engineering. Dug out my hardbound M-W Collegiate Dictionary while dealing with paper proofs; I had almost forgotten how helpful the the Biographical and Geographical Names sections could be!

I’m already looking forward to plowing back into these two projects tomorrow and to a couple of new ones scheduled to show up next week. Who knows what new adventures I might find in the world of words?

What’s the most interesting or fun word, phrase, detail, or concept you’ve looked up lately?


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