Monday, January 17, 2011

I ran into another poet at the hockey game. A poet with season tickets.

The game was exciting but the rules remain mysterious. Apparently you're allowed to put an opponent in a headlock, but you get sent to the penalty box if you "embellish."

Downsides: Expect fat men to overflow onto your knees for large portions of the game. The Coke at the concession stand is really Diet Coke.

But enough with the hockey. Let's move on to copyediting. Today is the day I have to undergo the ordeal of checking the editorial markup on an essay that is scheduled to appear in a journal this spring. You will not be surprised to learn that I, the copyeditor, loathe being copyedited, though I'm always grateful to typo catchers. This is not to say that I haven't had smart, incisive, delicate copyeditors. But I've also had trolls. They stomp and ravage. They trample on punctuation and gnaw witlessly on dependent clauses. They are tone deaf to sentence music and devour adverbs on sight.

The most terrible troll is the one who adds dangling modifiers. I have no reason to believe that such a troll works for this particular journal. But now that I've encountered one, I can't overlook the possibility that his ugly brother is still lurking out there.

Update: I rescind all my worries. There was no troll under the desk. I have faced the copyeditor, and she was perfect . . . which is to say: she unearthed the mistakes and killed them. She was even merciful.

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