KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Vital Office Tool

Vital office tool for editorial professionalsFor all of January, I have been working just about double my usual number of hours, 7 days a week, so that I can earn enough money to replace the ancient family Toyota Tercel (a 1992 model), may it rest in peace, with another used economy car in decent shape.

That means that there are many more hours each day during which the usual kid, pet, and spousal noises can strain my concentration. But I have a special tool: one of the many sets of hearing-protection devices that My Husband the Master Cabinetmakertm keeps in our wood shop. It doesn't eradicate all noise, but it muffles it enough so that I can't make out what anyone is saying. I can't wear it for long stretches of time, because my ears get claustrophobic, but using it as needed sure does improve my work mood.

Good tools are where you find them.

Updated 9:55 p.m.: A colleague has asked where one goes to find this device and what one asks for once one is there. One goes to Home Depot or other home supply superstore or the local hardware store and asks for "hearing protection" or "hearing protectors" or "ear muffs." The devices come in many styles.



moneysmith said...

I had the same problem not long ago and got PlaneQuiet earphones. They generate a small amount of "white noise," which is just enough to dampen annoying environmental sounds. You can also use them to minimize noise on airplanes while listening to music. They're a lot less expensive than the Bose version and work well.

Anonymous said...

Ear muffs like that are usually good for 20-25 dB's noise reduction, personally I prefer the disposable foam ear plugs because they can attenuate noise by up to 31-33 dB's. A box of 200 pairs can be purchased from Enco (www.use-enco.com) for about $20-25, that's about 1/2 of what they will cost a few pairs at a time at the Home Depot or other hardware store - and I can and have worn them for hours at a time, I find them that comfortable. I only use ear muffs when I'm in such a noisy environment that double hearing protection is required (over 104 dB's noise).

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Thanks, my noise-averse readers. Good tips!

Anonymous said...

But the ear muffs have the added benefit of serving as a visual reminder to your housemates that you don't want to be disturbed.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

No, not the ones with ADHD, anon. ;-)

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