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Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies Paperback – 15 May 2007


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Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies + New Hart's Rules: The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors (Reference) + New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors: The Essential A-Z Guide to the Written Word (Reference)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (15 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470121718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470121719
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 18.7 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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122 of 124 people found the following review helpful By SAP VINE VOICE on 8 Nov 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Reference for the Rest of the English-speaking World.

There's the nub of my problem with this book. Two countries separated by a common language and all that. I accept a large portion of the blame for not looking a little more closely when I purchased it, but there we go -- you live and learn. We're not just talking the odd differences in spelling for a few words here and there, which I could live with, but a whole raft of different conventions concerning punctuation, grammar, style and usage. For example, Gilad's proofreading marks differ greatly from samples I've seen of marks used in Britain. I don't want to learn all that only to find out that I have to forget them all and learn another set! Her book and website references are almost exclusively American-oriented and so of limited use to us Old Worlders, too.

Then there's the tone in which this book is written. Perhaps I need to get out more but this is irritatingly upbeat about everything. Problem? Drawback? Disadvantage? Boring bit? No! You're looking at it the wrong way! It's an opportunity! It's fabulous! It's marvellous! It's just what you always wanted! This energy is tiring after a while. Reading this book feels a little like being preached at or indoctrinated into a cult. It feels uncomfortably like a self-help book. (Not that I read them.) Then there were plenty of unfamiliar phrases. What does "nix" mean? "Moxie", anyone? What is a "peanut-gallery commentary"? Is it like a coconut shy at a fairground? Can you begin a sentence with "Most every"? I also liked her suggestion that in Britain we spell 'bank' as "banque". Ye Olde Banque? I particularly liked her advice to "use commas sparingly" -- in a sentence containing unnecessary commas. Not incorrectly placed commas, just unnecessary commas.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By R. T. Rigby Jones on 27 April 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought this book on the strength of the "Dummies" series being very informative and easy to read. I was looking for an overview of what proofreading involves, a few examples and tips on how to freelance in this industry.
The book is extremely easy to read - a chatty style which made me laugh out loud quite often. The information is very interesting and informative. HOWEVER, it is written with an American market in mind and whilst some of the advice is universal, the links to websites, the proofreading symbols and recommendations on how to approach companies for work are not going to help if you are based in the UK. The proofreading symbols are different and would have to be re-learnt for UK standards.
All that said, if you are wanting to find out about proofreading and see some examples of what it involves, then it's still a good text. But if you want a head start on learning how to proofread, then find a different book written for a UK audience! I am now halfway through a proofreading/copy editing course and have not used the Dummies book once to help me - but it did wet my apetite for joining the world of editing.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Roe on 13 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
This seemed an excellent book, except for one thing - it is American. The US and UK proofreading symbols, and of course spelling, are very different so this is of very little use for someone wanting to learn more about copyediting and proofreading in the UK. However, if you are from the US, this looks a useful and informative book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Petra Bryce VINE VOICE on 4 Oct 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This book appears to be well-written and tries to get across the various pitfalls that copy-editors and proofreaders will inevitably encounter, the big problem with it is that it's aimed entirely at an American market. As soon as I opened it I could tell that the proofreading symbols employed throughout the book tally with British Standard 1219, which have subsequently been replaced by BS 5261C:2005 in this country and are consequently no longer in use, not to mention the differences in spelling, punctuation and other style conventions that distinguish between American and British English. If you want to find out more about becoming a proofreader and copy-editor, I can recommend The Pocket Book of Proofreading by William Critchley and Trevor Horwood's Freelance Proofreading and Copy-editing: A Guide, which I have found very useful.

As George Bernard Shaw remarked, 'England and America are two countries separated by a common language.' How very true. I have now returned it to Amazon.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By lou on 29 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
I am very pleased with my purchase of this book and once you have read it, it is extremely handy to refer back to again and again. I have definitely learnt a lot. I would certainly recommend this to friends with an interest in this subject, who would like to find out more before taking a course. The only reason i have not reviewed it top marks, is because i didn't know it is American, so when i take part in some exercises, particular words are spelt differently.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great quality. It got here on time. Easy reading bred painless learning. There were no typos either! ....For Dummies is a great series.
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Another excellent reference book that deserves its place on the shelf of aspiring proof reader. An essential tool which is what all these books are, don't expect to be entertained.
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By Charlotte on 7 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a good book to start with, written in a style accessible for all readers. It's in black and white but there are some pictures in there too :)
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