Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's raining, I'm poring....

I'm going over some quick edits for a short article.

I wrote:
I tremble at the thought of other textual editors poring over my work for errors and misjudgments.
The editor changed poring to pouring. No! I'm not transferring liquid from one vessel to another, nor are the other editors. They're staring, concentrating. So, with some trepidation, I change pouring back to poring and add a comment:
NO. Not pour like liquid, but pore (verb): OED 1 cTo think intently about something; to meditate, muse; to ponder. With on, upon, over. Also occas. trans. with clause as object.
These moments do fill me with trepidation--and irritation. I see the change and have a little panic. Did I err?

I look it up and have a little exaltation. I was right.

I fix it back, keenly aware that it's just this kind of mood that hovers over the last page of my book. For, in the very, very last stages of copy-editing, one of my evil and incompetent copyeditors queried my use of the word "graft." Don't you mean "grant"? No! STET! OED n.1 and the definition... which, I'm sorry to say, they printed in a parentheses in the margins in my book. So it goes.

(The links take you to the nightmare as I lived through it, but I see that I never did post about that final humilation....)


Dave Munger said...

Have you had problems with just using "STET"? I've never heard of an instance when an author stetted a copyeditor's correction that was then willfully ignored.

Anne said...

I haven't had that--yet--but it's of a piece with what I have been experiencing.