Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Editorial-Type Slicings & Dicings

My work this week involves reading down a hand-edited manuscript and keying its editorial marks into the original word document, for the author to review. (The manuscript was copy edited offsite by a somewhat older longtime freelancer; most editing now is done directly to computer documents. Hand-penciled edits are pretty rare.) It's a chore but an instructive one for me: getting a feel for what sorts of things you need to look for and fix. A bit of a slog but a good training exercise.

The manuscript itself is a consumer guide to cosmetic surgery, so I'm learning a thing or two about that unfamiliar field, too. Did you know that a whole 15 percent of rhinoplasties are unsuccessful enough to require "redo" surgery?

My gut-level recommendation is just "Don't Get Cosmetic Surgery." This goes double for anyone considering a surgical vacation to Mexico or Poland: sure, the travel agency can arrange your lodging and entertainment, too, but you might turn out as the unhappy protagonist of a morbidly compelling anecdote.

But, if you've got your heart set on a new nose or eyebrows or whatever, I've got a 380-page redlined manuscript to recommend to you.


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