Innumerable grammar memes flood the internet every day. Most of us have come across one at some point or another. There are several ways people react to them—laugh it off, poke fun at someone who you know is a grammar fanatic, don’t see what all the fuss is about, or think that grammar is an utterly pointless pile of slush. But these memes resonate at a deeper level for those of us who work in the publishing industry, especially in the editorial field.
Lately, I’ve been seeing an influx of advertisements for online grammar checkers on almost all of my social media accounts. For a while now, I’ve tried to ignore them, chalking up the barrage of ads to the internet gods knowing how to market to a book lover, but I’ve begun to wonder what these online checkers mean for today’s writers and editors.
“Please take back out every Oxford comma,” a journalistic-minded author of mine once said. I began my editing career using Associated Press (AP) Style, so I understood his suggestion, but the house style at my current company mandated the use of the serial comma. We had a short, spirited, and (thankfully) respectful debate about it, and ultimately house style prevailed. I convinced the author that the meaning in his writing remained unchanged and using a serial comma accomplished something important to the company—it maintained consistency throughout their titles.
After almost three terms as the editorial assistant for Ooligan Press, I have become accustomed to the compulsory blank stare that results from hearing the term “light copyedit” when discussing blog posts and the importance of maintaining an author’s voice and intent. For some floaters, or volunteer editors, this glazed-over expression is a sign of […]
Fall term has arrived and has brought with it students new to Ooligan Press, students new to the book publishing program, and students new to The Ocean in My Ears team. Joining our team this term we have the talented Brianne Robinson, who is not new to Ooligan but is new to our team, along […]
The use of the singular “they” is so common in American speech that I find it a little funny that I’m writing about it. And yet, here I am. We say it all the time: “Everyone wants their cat to look cool on Halloween.” You know, as the saying goes. For ages it seemed, written […]