Things I discovered in the copy editor's draft
My first book comes out in March 2018. I'm at the part of the process where a copy editor goes through the file and fixes mistakes. Then, if there's something I disagree with, I mark STET to indicate I want it left the way it was. What surprised me were not the errors, but edge cases.
- •'knelt' vs 'kneeled'Knelt is still dominant, but that's got to fade, right?
- •'each other' vs 'one another'The former is for two things, the latter for more than two. But it's a shaky divide.
- •'clearer' vs 'more clear'Again, this is trending towards the latter.
- •'weaved' vs 'wove'Different verbs! She weaved through traffic. She wove a blanket that winter.
- •'further' vs 'farther'Distinction is often ambiguous. Does a monster open its jaws further, or farther?
- •'one less apple' vs 'one fewer apple'Less is right, because apple is singular. But we've been taught that countable things use fewer, so less sets off our wrong-radar.
- •I swallow my 'dsThis book, like most fiction, is written in the past tense. Which really means past tenses, because there's a fair amount of past perfect as well. ("She'd danced all night.") But in practice, I was dropping those 'ds a lot because often you don't really hear them when speaking.
- •'toward' vs 'towards'This was the big one. My whole life, and every thing I've written, has been with 'towards.' Maybe it's a Colorado thing, but my daughter does it too. Google says 'toward' is dominant in American English, but man, I can't hear it. I went so far as to pull up an original recording of MLK's "the moral arc of history is long but it bends..." toward justice. No s. But I still STET-ed every one. And afterwards, too.