My name is Chelsea, and I am a grammar addict.
I am your tour guide, and this is the day in the life of a copyeditor. Sometimes my day consists of stapling, being short on staples, ordering more staples, breaking my stapler, finding the perfect one online (Swingline® is the classic, and obvious, winner), and ordering it immediately. Then, just suffering through with other not-so-good staplers until mine comes in. I have actually argued with co-workers about which stapler is in fact the best (jokingly, of course).
Sound like fun? Oh, you have no idea.
Other days are occupied with getting lost in editing flags, or as they’re officially called by some, Self-Stick Page Flags, getting them stuck all over my clothing, shoes, and bag, even doors for that matter. Some of my work associates complain that I “shed” these flags, also, leaving them behind at their desks wherever I go. But, they are a necessary tool for my career, and my well being for that matter.
The important stuff, though, is copy editing, so here are your essentials:
- Red pens: Lots of them. I am a big fan of the standard thin Paper Mate® ones that are smooth and handy at the same time. They are good quality, and last a pretty long time.
- Flags: These are your guides to perfection, your markers to the mistakes. They lead your eyes back to the mistakes you once marked, and which are hopefully fixed the 2nd–3rd time around. Essential, I tell you.
Now, for some of the meat and potatoes of the job. On a normal day, I read five to six languages, sometimes including English, edit them, and hand them back to their creators. Then, I get these printed pages back to make sure my sixth (Hawkeye) sense caught everything, and to make sure that all said changes were inputted in the design of the pages to be printed at a later date. In other languages, it is hard to keep track of grammar/punctuation, but I think that my associates and I do a good job of keeping everything in order. And I even get to put some writing punch into my work quite often these days, which is awesome for a wordsmith such as myself.
All in all, even though some may not find us copyeditors to be a crucial part of the biz, we keep your grammar, punctuation, and spelling in check, which in turn makes the world go round. Where would you be without us?
-This was originally posted on JP Enterprises’ website.