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Sources and Resources you want to have on hand while youre editing (see Chapter

14 for lots more detail):

A house style manual or style sheet. Before starting a job, ask whether an
established house style exists.

A general manual of style. As I explain in Chapter 14, there are many style
manuals out there The Chicago Manual of Style , The New York Times
Manual of Style and Usage, The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel
Manual . . . Before getting started, ask which manual the organization or
publisher follows.

A house dictionary. In the editing world, the granddaddy of all dictionaries is


Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary, now in its 11th edition. Youll get to
know it better as Web 11.

There are several Websters out there: Random House Websters (RHW) and Websters
New World (WNW) are the biggest, and American Heritage (AH) is another well-known
choice. Be sure you use whichever one your employer or client prefers.

A thesaurus. A favourite of copyeditors is The Synonym Finder by J. I. Rodale


(Warner Books). The Internet is also a popular place to head for suggested
replacements for words, although Web-based thesauri have their limitations.
Visual Thesaurus ,WordWeb

A usage guide. You want to get familiar with Garners Modern American
Usage by Bryan A. Garner (Oxford University Press).

A handbook of English usage. College handbooks, such as The Little, Brown


Handbook by H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron and The Penguin Handbook
by Lester Faigley (both published by Pearson Longman) are big sellers that offer
overviews of writing style, grammar basics, industry styles (such as APA, CMA,
and MLA see Chapter 14), and more.

Subject-specific reference materials. The cardinal copyediting rule is this:


Look Up Everything. Is the copy peppered with foreign words? Are you expected
to verify city streets and highways? Is the job for a fashion magazine? Or the
sports page? Go head fill your shelves with medical and foreign-language
dictionaries; quotation books and trademark checklists; atlases and street maps;
even the Bible , Koran, and Talmud, if you think youll need them. Or at least
become familiar with where you can locate these types of references when you
need them.

Industry-specific publications. Previously published materials are great for


checking the consistency of usage and language even accepted jargon within
a particular industry.

Trusty online resources. As you delve deeper into the world of editing, you
will come to trust certain Web sites and user groups to help you make the best
decisions in particular circumstances. (Plus, you can commiserate with others
who do what you do for a living!)

Everything is game for looking up. Everything. Place names, foreign words, company
titles, religious holidays, archaic spellings, industry jargon, compound adjectives, book
titles, song lyrics the list continues ad nauseam.
If you dont find an individual entry in your style guide, consult a dictionary
or other appropriate resource, and confirm, confirm, confirm. I discuss this
aspect of copyediting in detail in Chapter 5.