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

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Editorial Perks

Earlier today, I had sent a Korean physician, one of my ESL (English as a second language) authors, my estimate for the cost of doing a substantive edit of his manuscript about a study he did of repair techniques for a particular type of femoral fracture.

For this project, I will be turning his Korean medical English into British medical English rather than the American medical English that I usually work with, because he wants to submit his manuscript to a British medical journal. I gave him the estimated price (at an hourly rate) in U.S. dollars and in KRW (Korean won) and the estimated turnaround time for two rounds of editing. It has been about a year since we last worked together, so I reminded him of how the process of reviewing my edits would work.

He replied, to tell me that he found the price and process agreeable:
Dear Katharine:

I like your job.

And I thought, You know, I do too. Thanks, Dr. H. You're one of the reasons.


libhom said...

I think it is great that there are some considerate and polite people left.

Unknown said...

So sweet.

Anonymous said...

I am happy and encouraged by that doctor. May he bring even more colleagues to your doorstep!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear how difficult you find working in British English. Do you use a particular guide?

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Working in British English within the context of medical writing isn't too difficult, because it's the medical terminology that takes precedence. I'll mostly have to watch for the spelling of some words. For any British ways of phrasing things, I'll study the British journal to which the author plans to submit his manuscript.

The one thing about British writing that bugs me, though, is its much looser way with punctuation. What American editors might call a comma splice is just the way things are sometimes done in British English. Yes, I will make sure to place periods outside end quotation marks (unless the period is part of what is being quoted), according to British style. But the British loosey-goosey way with internal punctuation, I just can't hack. I'll leave that to the journal's own copyeditors (or subeditors, as they're called in British English) to revise once they have my author's manuscript in-house.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the loosey-goosey punctuation! I am always appalled at printed material I read. Check out this sentence from a historian's latest work, sure to be a best seller:

“Henry, prince though he had become and growing up though he rapidly was, continued to live with his two sisters.”

That's just one example.

I have definitely noticed a difference in my lingo, however, and my, for lack of a better word, speech patterns. Comes from listening to Radio 4 all day! I sadly determined I will never be able to write American dialogue again!

Anonymous said...

LOL! That's charming!

I'm in the process of editing one of several genre novels Tina & I have done for the U.S. publisher of a British author who publishes thrillers about an American detective and her Chinese lover (also a cop) through a British house and then gets the things republished here. These stories are often set in the U.S., and AU has been known to try to replicate Southern dialect in print. You've not seen weird-looking copy until you've tried to read this stuff... :-D

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