[LMB] late-series copy-editing/copyediting/copy editing

Paula Lieberman paal at filker.org
Thu Sep 17 14:18:51 BST 2015

The rules I'm used to tend to be, a specific title is rather like a proper 
name,  as e.g. President Drew Faust of Harvard.   A president of a 
university or country, not specifying a particular person, tends to not be a 
proper noun/name.  The President of the United States of Amercia generaly == 
proper noun/designation.  The Duke of Windsor designates a partiular 
person/proper noun/itle of a person or sequence of persons, while "a duke" 

Saying "the Captain" when referring to a specific person and emphasizing 
that, as opposed to "report to the captain" where the emphasis is on the 
rank and not the person who has the rank, tends to involved capitalization. 
There's an emphasis verbally that print doesn't show without the 
capitalization, where the syllable "cap" gets held longer when emphasizing 
the particular person rather than the generic person who has the rank

--Paula Lieberman
-----Original Message----- 
From: Karen Hunt
Sent: Thursday, September 17, 2015 07:29 AM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold.
Subject: Re: [LMB] late-series copy-editing/copyediting/copy editing

On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 7:26 PM, Lois McMaster Bujold <lbujold at myinfmail.com
> wrote:

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> > On Sep 16, 2015, at 4:43 PM, Marc Wilson <marc.wilson at gmx.co.uk>
> wrote:
> >
> >> LMB:  This is apparently not the case anymore (not to be confused with
> >> any more.)  So, "Mr. President?" said the reporter, but, "The president
> >> of the United States entered the room."
> >
> > That's my understanding too- if it's referring to a particular general,
> > it's "General Smith".  But you'd say: "The general sat at his desk."
> LMB:  The trouble with that is, in the context of a story, the general (or
> admiral) sitting at his desk _is_ a particular individual...  ("Direct
> address" seems to go wrong less, as a way of thinking about it.)
> The alternative to having one rule and sticking to it, even if the results
> seem off, is to have a nervous breakdown over every damn sentence/word
> occurrence when trying to aesthetically judge if it's In or Out.  In books
> where the occurrences number in the hundreds, this is a problem.  And I'm
> quickly running out of books to edit where it's not an issue because the
> instances don't arise much, sigh.


I'll admit that in my scans for problems, I've been omitting those issues -
capital or non-capital in titles/roles. I figure the question is too murky
to really be able to get right, and so long as it isn't glaringly strange,
it's not wrong.

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