Dashing through the alphabet


Christmas 2017

Dashing to the end of the year, and what a year it’s been! You can see here on the work section of the site what’s been keeping me busy: among other things, I’ve edited reports about the Great Barrier Reef, tourism and bush foods in Australia, contract farming in Ethiopia and aquaculture in Kenya.

Apart from that, I convened a conference committee for Editors Queensland and IPEd for the 8th IPEd National Editors Conference. It was a wonderful experience, during which I worked with many talented people. If you’re an editor in Australia (or want to visit Australia!), make sure you come along to the next one: Melbourne, May 2019. If you’re a writer, know that editors love getting together and talking about the best ways of working with authors. We’re all in the business of making manuscripts sing.

Speaking of singing, to end the year I’ve dashed off this little Ode to the Alphabet (with apologies to ‘Jingle Bells’). Enjoy!

Checking carefully
In a research manuscript
For sense and clarity
Red pen loosely gripped
When suddenly I twitch
Something is not right
A quoted passage has a glitch
Whose is this oversight?

Oh, alphabet, alphabet
Order is the key
You let the reader find the source
By checking A, B, C
Alphabet, alphabet
You make it so easy
For anyone to find a name
In a bibliography.

I need to find out where
This quote has first appeared
Was this error there?
Or is it as I feared?
The author made a slip
Retyping this in haste
Instead of point and click to give
Verbatim copy and paste.

Oh, alphabet, alphabet
Thank goodness I can find
In 50 pages of references
That one particular line
That takes me to the source
Of the quote, and I’ll know quick
I’ll see if I should fix it up
Or merely add a [sic].

I’ve made it to the site
The original of the quote
The error’s there, all right
I have the antidote
I add a little [sic]
It’s just like poetry
How simply with the alphabet
Works your bibliography!

See you in 2018!


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