What a great day to see what a Canadian writer had to say on the topic of indexes. Stephen Leacock, our great humourist, loved to have fun with people’s (and his own) follies and foolishness. If you haven’t taken the time to read Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, now is the summer to sit and smile.
In My Remarkable Uncle and Other Sketches, he introduces the topic of indexes: the perfect Index. Does the topic seem a bit dry for a lazy summer day? It isn’t when Leacock tackles it.
Chuckle as you read about cross-references, circular references, depth of indexing, etc. It’s as enjoyable a read as one would want on a hot Canadian holiday.
Punctuation matters – and not solely to teachers and editors. Punctuation marks are the signposts to help the reader navigate the text. The reader makes meaning, knowing when to pause, stop, and get excited. The reader can determine who owns what and which words are direct quotations.
But when punctuation is misused, the reader may becomes distracted by the signposts and lose the real meaning. What is one to make of this observation: “Last week John went to see his parents, Atom Egoyan and Jann Arden.”
Is John really the son of these artists? An additional comma would clear up the problem and show that John had visited three people last week.
Beyond creating confusion and providing chuckles, though, punctuation errors can prove costly. Businesses can lose millions of dollars if a comma is not placed just right. Take a look at the Blog Herald to see just how expensive a misplaced comma can be.
The Institute of Certified Indexers (ICI) has announced the ICI Award for Best New Indexer.
Information about the contest as well as the submission form are available at the ICI site.
There is a submission fee, and the deadline for entering the contest is July 31, 2014.
What an opportunity for someone who has taken an indexing course between January 1, 2009 and January 1, 2014! Winning and gaining the accompanying recognition could really help a novice indexer build a client base.
Check it out!
This column in Publisher’s Weekly, pretty much sums up the reason we exist at Leewords. If you’re wondering about the need for an editor, read this, then give us a call.
Once upon a time, in the world before the internet, a good writer would equip herself with a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, and a copy of the New York Times Style Guide. Today life is easier for students with a wealth of on-line writing resources. Here’s a little gem of a handout from the Writing Centre at the University of North Carolina, complete with a built-in test for students. Follow the link and if you wish there’s a PDF version built into the link.