howdoienglish











{July 5, 2011}   Put a witty title here

Remember the Chicago Manual of Style? Turns out the readings for this large tome amount to almost the entire work. I looked in the table of contents, and I think we’re only skipping two or three of the chapters. Granted, each chapter amounts to a substantial chunk of the book and I’m grateful that we aren’t required to read the whole thing (though I probably will sometime later), but it’s still a lot of reading.

Thankfully, I’ve read the chapter on grammar, at least, in the 15th edition (Nerd alert), so it won’t really have changed. It’s always good to go back and get a refresher on all those things, though.

I like to blame some of my ineptness with grammar on the fact that I never diagrammed sentences when I was in elementary or middle school. It’s just an easy target. To remedy this, both for the Institute and for the rest of my life as I hope to deal with grammar for a good long portion of it, I have requested a book from my public library, Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: the quirky history and lost art of diagramming sentences by Kitty Burns Florey. I found it when I was looking through some of those publishing newsletters I’m subscribed to and put it on my list of books that might be worth reading. It’s on its way, and I should get a call when it’s ready.

I’m looking forward to it; I might even bump that book up to the top of my “read for fun” list. Currently on that list is Brian Jacques entire Redwall series. I’m terribly behind (I was racing my sister) at The Bellmaker. I try to read a chapter or two a night, but that’s a rather slow pace. Thanks, DPI, for all the homework!

I jest. I’m actually quite enjoying these advance assignments from the Institute. Speaking of…I need to get a system going for the last few days, here! The time is almost upon me, and I still have a good bit to do. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make a schedule of what I need to do.



{June 21, 2011}   Editors on Editing

I haven’t started in on the Chicago Manual yet. It looms so large in my view that I’m trying to distract myself with other reading. So I picked up Editors on Editing instead. Not sure it was more soothing than reading Chicago would be, though.

Reading through these essays from professional editors talking about their experiences editing, I wonder if I would be that dedicated to my job. It sounds pretty crazy, being an editor, no matter what kind of editor.

And then I talked with my boss about what sort of real job I’ll be looking at getting. Watching a computer screen the whole day makes me incredibly tired, and she informed me that most editing these days is done by computer. Joy. So I could freelance edit, which would allow me to set the kind of schedule I would be comfortable with while editing. That route, however, requires me to be the provider of my own insurance and grown-up things like that. Although not the end of the world, it would be easier to have company insurance.

It’s normal for me to experience rising anxiety as something foreign and unknown approaches, so that might be what this is all about. I might just be freaking out because, well, that’s what I do. I’m going to try and dismiss my fears by focusing on that as a reason. I’ll experience the Publishing Institute and allow that to help me make up my mind about what sort of publishing job I would like to get. I shouldn’t get too carried away by my imagination until I have more information about all of this.

There. I feel better. I should keep reading my book.



{June 17, 2011}   Manuals, Chicago style

In preparation for the Publishing Institute, I need to read most of the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. Of course we have to read the 16th, I thought, can’t use the 15th, the one I already have. The one I bought not too long ago thinking it would be with me forever (even though I really knew better, even at the time).

In a serious blindness on my part, I hadn’t known that Chicago published the 16th edition until my boss at my internship gave me her Chicago online login and informed me that the 16th edition was on there, but for now we’d go with what we already had on our style sheet, which was 15th edition. I wondered how much could actually changed in order for Chicago to feel they had to put out a new edition. I’m tempted to examine the 15th and 16th side by side, now that I have both.

Back to reading for the Institute. It’s basically the entire manual, really. Only a couple hundred pages of the behemoth book are being left out. And it makes me wonder how much of what is in that book I will actually know. How much of what I read will be a refresher of information I’ve already learned at some point in my education. I worry that I won’t know enough and I’ll have to scramble to memorize enough of everything so I appear competent when I arrive in Denver.

It’s frightening. Intimidating. And it’s moments like this when I feel so, so small.



et cetera