[LMB] another hyphenation dilemma

Karen Hunt huntkc at gmail.com
Mon Sep 28 21:51:12 BST 2015

On Mon, Sep 28, 2015 at 1:32 PM, Lois McMaster Bujold <lbujold at myinfmail.com
> wrote:

> [LMB] another hyphenation dilemma
> Walter S Bushell proto at panix.com
> Mon Sep 28 17:46:41 BST 2015
> WB:  And really who has time to attend to these details or notice them
> particularly
> in fiction? (As contrasted to works that explicitly require conformity to a
> particular style manual.)
> LMB:  Yes, they do.  And they send me earnest, helpful e-mails,
> unfortunately not all with the same advice.
> There are a lot of former copy editors among my fans, among other
> word-trades.  (Lots of librarians, too.)
> All of this was stuff I used to leave blithely, and perhaps mistakenly, to
> my publishers' production departments, but now that I'm doing it myself...
> I need to learn how to do it myself right.
> WB:   I mean, no doubt people without a life and probably
> have time to watch TV.
> LMB:  Without a life, maybe, but I don't think they're watching TV. Or
> else they're _phenomenal_ at multi-tasking.  (Multitasking...?)

As a person who notices things like that (but who doesn't *usually* contact
authors about them unless prompted), I can say:
No life? Check. Got none to speak of.
Watch TV? Nope. Commercials/ads drive me nuts. I generally can't make it
through a half-hour episode without pegging my annoyance meter. Mostly
they're not the thing I'm trying to watch, and they force me to do a
context-switch when they happen, which I don't care to have to do.

Generally, I don't notice these details in a first read unless the problems
are flagrant (I glitched on a 1-1/2 page cut and paste error in one fantasy
book, for example - same text came twice and one of the locations for it
was clearly not intended to have it). I do notice some in books that I am
willing to do second reads of, however, because a second read for me is a
leisurely stroll through the book picking up all the details I missed in
the initial rush through the tale. I savor beautiful paragraphs during
second reads. Mostly, though, it generally takes a third or later read for
me to start really seeing problematic details.

If I go so far as to start wikia-ing about a book or collection of books,
then I find many things because I'm trying to learn "truth" (whatever that
stuff actually is) about the universe of the book.

I have no copy editor experience at all, or librarian experience, though
I've published a few technical papers here and there.

Karen Hunt

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