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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pleased
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...
Published on 29 Oct 2011 by lou

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121 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Copyediting and Proofreading for Americans
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...
Published on 8 Nov 2007 by SAP


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121 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Copyediting and Proofreading for Americans, 8 Nov 2007
By 
SAP (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies (Paperback)
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. (Something she does throughout the book.) The author's very pedantic about compound modifiers, too. She stresses that they should only be used when their absence introduces ambiguity. So she proceeds to hyphenate them nearly every time.

Ah, the mistakes. It was always going to happen, wasn't it? I'm sure others have found far more. I just noticed the obvious ones (because I'm just starting to take an interest in these things). The unforgivable ones, really. Sure, they were always going to happen in the body of the text, but in worked examples!? That is just lazy. On a hand-marked 'corrected' manuscript page we see 'vacuum' left with two c's. (There are plenty of other errors -- like mixing up former and latter -- that I shan't trouble you with. Suffice it to say I made a note of them all.) On the other hand, it is encouraging to see that even pros make mistakes. But talking of worked examples -- there aren't enough of them. And my beady eye spotted that Gilad doesn't always practice what she preaches. Same again with diagrams. Not enough. I particularly would have liked them with the section about the hierarchy of the publishing industry and the anatomy of the book and magazine. Why write loads of "copy" about something that can be explained with an arrow and a small caption?

But don't let's get too negative. As an introduction to the publishing industry, and the parts that copy-editors and proofreaders play in it, this book has been very good. As a manual to get started in the business it wasn't so great. I'm now talking the talk, which is good, but still far from walking the walk. I think it deserves more than three stars, but not four. (Oh, and I'm just getting started, so there will undoubtedly be many errors in this review. I can only offer my humble apologies.)
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not aimed at UK Audience, 27 April 2010
By 
R. T. Rigby Jones (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies (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
3.0 out of 5 stars Caught out by transatlantic differences, 13 Aug 2010
This review is from: Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies (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
2.0 out of 5 stars Unsuitable for the UK market, 4 Oct 2011
By 
Petra Bryce "bookworm" (Malvern, Worcs) - See all my reviews
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars pleased, 29 Oct 2011
This review is from: Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies (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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4.0 out of 5 stars I got exactly what it said on the cover, 11 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars All Dummies books are good but this superb, 26 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies (Paperback)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars A helpful book, 7 April 2013
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This review is from: Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars An extensive authoritative guide, 8 Dec 2012
By 
Stuart Drunsfield (West Lothian, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Comprehensive coverage of proofreading and copyediting including setting up as a business.

It serves both as a fine introductory read and detailed reference guide for ongoing use.

It is especially aimed at the US market but as someone based in the UK I still found very much that was helpful.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent content, faulty page order., 7 May 2012
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This review is from: Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies (Paperback)
I bought this book after borrowing it from the library, knowing the content is excellent. Unfortunately the first page of each 'Part' (the one with the cartoon and brief introduction to that section) has been inserted at the end of each 'Part'. A shame considering the subject matter, but out of the hands of the author.
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Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies
Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies by Suzanne Gilad (Paperback - 15 May 2007)
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