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

Monday, June 25, 2012

Communicating in Images

Explaining imaging in spine surgeryA picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

While I was editing a journal manuscript for one of my authors from Japan who is a non-native English speaker, I was having trouble understanding what he meant to say in one particular sentence. The topic was imaging in spine surgery. He had written:

In spinal deformities, image quality is inferior because radiation does not incident parallel to the vertebrae endplates.

I e-mailed him and asked him to explain it to me, so he drew and then e-mailed a helpful diagram to me (shown here at left). I immediately understood that this was what he wanted to say:

In spinal deformities, the image quality is inferior because some of the vertebral endplates are oriented obliquely to the radiation source rather than parallel to it.

I wrote back right away to thank him and tell him that he is an excellent teacher. I was delighted that he had realized that the best way around the language barrier between us was visual. Close collaboration like that is one of the many reasons I find it so satisfying to work with researchers who are non-native English speakers.


No comments:

Template created by Makeworthy Media