Advice and humor from the Subversive Copy Editor blog
External links*, compiled by the American Copy Editors Society
Before you move on from the copy editing stage, you must approve all the edits that have been made. We will send you both the draft of your work revised by a copy editor and a document tracking the changes that have been made. Check to make sure that your facts are still accurate, that no new errors have slipped in during the editing process, and that the changes have not damaged your intended meaning.
Most copy editors work nights, weekends and holidays.
Copy editors are employed by publishing firms, newspapers and magazines. Other major organisations, such as public relations and advertising agencies, retailers, government agencies and professional associations, also use copy editors on an in-house or freelance basis. Many copy editors are self-employed.
There's more involved than running a spell check. The copy editor needs to be a critical reader: Is the story missing necessary background or other information? Is it unfair? Is it libelous? Have crucial questions gone unasked? When the answer is yes, the copy editor is on the phone with the reporter or researching on the Internet to make things right, and to do it on deadline.Some mistakes jump out: I love finding the comically wrong homonyms, the core for corps, the pour for pore, the ordinance for ordnance. Some are more subtle: It's easy to miss errors in quotations because our training tells us to leave quotations alone, but if the reporter has left out or misinterpreted a word or two, it's the copy editor's job to notice and ask.And we are the defenders of proper grammar, usage, spelling and what publications call style: when to capitalize, when to use numerals or spell out the numbers, etc. Copy editors might be the only people who can discuss, cheerfully and seriously and on their own time, when to hyphenate a compound adjective. Normal people, I have found, deeply do not care.When someone migrates from other platforms to Linux, he or she will look for his/her "tools of trade," like IDEs, image editing programs or something else. A web developer will surely want an XML validator and XML editor with syntax highlighting, DTD/XML Schema/RELAX NG validation and all the goodies. One of the best and easy to use solutions at the moment might be XML Copy Editor, a multi-platform XML editor that can make your work more pleasant with its easy to use interface and features.We do this work, generally, at night, with no stopping for holidays or weekends. We do not have social lives. If we have families, we do not see them much. We get precious little personal glory: The work is strictly anonymous. And we don't get much in the way of money, either: A chart just released by our union shows that The Post's copy editors earn noticeably less than its reporters, photographers, page designers and graphic artists.When you first run XML Copy Editor (XCE), you will be greeted by a simple interface made up of a new XML document and four small toolboxes, from which you can easily insert new elements, siblings (XML elements with the same parent) and entities (special characters like &, > or "). From the very start, I should let you know that XCE's interface and editing is based on Scintilla, and was created with wxWidgets (which you will need for XML Copy Editor to work properly). XML Copy Editor uses a tabbing system, so you can open up multiple files at the same time, thus simplifying your work even more.