Saturday, 21 January 2017

Tending The Flock (of Words)

Some time back, Dave asked me to give periodic updates about how I go about making my decisions on "iffy" points of proofreading. Usually, the proofing decisions are pretty straightforward--misspellings, P’s that look like D’s, Y’s that look like V’s, the occasional L and I that look like a U, etc. But, every now and then, I get a real gem that takes some actual investigation (research) and lets me, Dictionary Lad, delve deeply into the realm of Webster, et. al. (I utilize the Oxford English Dictionary, Abridged, nowadays, since that is what Dave said that he uses.)

My current project is the proofing of Church & State II (or, as I like to call it, “hurch tate”--seriously, look at the cover!). After proofing about two-thirds of it, I have found two beautiful little gems, which I am now going to share with you AMOCers by transcribing my handwritten notes (which will ultimately go to Sean, in San Diego, and to Dave). Thus:

Page 718, panel 2, balloon 3, lines 3, 4, 5:
Okay, from what I can tell (not being a doctor), these three words don’t belong together. From what I can tell, there is such a thing as UREMIC SYNDROME, which can lead to kidney (or, renal) failure. But, UREMIC FAILURE is not, technically, a medical term. Also, uremic syndrome would most likely not be ACUTE but would, instead, be chronic. Technically, kidney (or, renal) failure could be acute but more likely would be the result of a chronic condition. If you choose to replace these words (and are able to), I would go with just ACUTE KIDNEY FAILURE.

Table of contents, Chapter 31, second word:
The American astronauts (and the collected scientists involved) named the landing spot for the first assault on the moon Tranquility Base (one L). So, I think you should have left it at one L, not two. Still, I can see how it would be difficult to change the lettering on page 1,201. And, I see how you cheated the issue by naming the chapter “BASE TRANQUILLITY” (two L’s), thereby being able to retain the good, ol’ OED spelling.

I think this (and ACUTE UREMIC FAILURE) deserves an entry on AMOC. About my process; as you requested, Dave.

1 comment:

Jeff Seiler said...

What? Really? In a week, no comments?

Not even *you*, Dave?

I mean, that research really took a while. I even turned off the tv and delved deeply into the OED, as well as my other two dictionaries, to figure that s**t out.

And, I get radio silence?

Well, that's it!

I do and I do and I do for you kids, and this is the thanks I get?

I buy you books and I buy you books, but do you learn from them (as I did)?


Well, what do you have to say for yourselves?!?