Monday, January 15, 2007


I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right place, but here it goes:

When looking at text, how much power does the editor have to change the order of the words? Or to add the the already existing words? Number seventeen in exercise two brought up these questions for me. Are words added simply to make the sentence more clear? In editing, how does one know the best way to offer more clarity?

(Original: Shakespeare's sonnets are about people who agonize over it.

Lovers was struck out for "people." And "over it," for "about being in love.")

1 comment:

Pat said...

Remember that these sentences were constructed to illustrate the kinds of problems you will run into as a copyeditor. In sentence 17, the problem is a vague pronoun, "it"; in correcting the problem, the copyeditor did not want to repeat the word "love"--or a form of it--so she changed "lovers" to "people."

When you make such changes, you need to know why you're doing so and what the effects on the text will be. Your goal is to correct errors and clarify the author's meaning while keeping the author's style intact.