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Proofreading terms

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In the world of publishing, sans serif is not a holiday resort, curly quotes aren't a cheese snack, and a bastard title is really nothing to be ashamed about. Likewise, bullets, daggers, and backslashes are rarely fatal. Even dead copy is often livelier than it sounds. Copyediting or copy editing is the work that a writer or an editor does to improve a manuscript and prepare it for publication. Here, we reveal some of the jargon of the copyediting trade: terms and abbreviations used by editors in their efforts to produce copy that is clear, correct, consistent, and concise. When do we need to understand these terms?

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Proofreading is nowadays usually the correction of grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation errors in a text. Out of courtesy, proofreaders may sometimes also point out but not change problems of structure, vocabulary, and consistency of usage, whose correction belongs to copyediting. Traditionally and still today, proofreading may also mean the reading of a galley proof or an electronic copy of a publication to find and correct production errors of text or art. A 'galley proof' familiarly, 'a proof' is a typeset version of copy or a manuscript document. They may contain typographical errors "printer's errors" , as a result of human error during typesetting. Traditionally, a proofreader looks at an increment of text on the copy and then compares it to the corresponding typeset increment, and then marks any errors sometimes called 'line edits' using standard proofreaders' marks.

An Editing and Proofreading Glossary

Last Updated: May 6, References Approved. This article was co-authored by Michelle Golden, PhD. Michelle Golden is an English teacher in Athens, Georgia. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
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