“Tweed Pencil” Is the New Vermilion

I’ve always wanted to name a crayon. Well, UNICEF’s new charitable promotion lets donors own colors (within the domain of the ownacolour.com website only). I chose #ff3300, recognizable as the glowing vermilion used throughout the Tweed Editing website. I call it Tweed Pencil, which I feel evokes the red-pencil heritage of marking papers and symbolizes the glow of the mind alight with ideas. The single word I use to describe Tweed Pencil is “lettered.” Join me in supporting UNICEF through this beguiling campaign. What color will you claim? *Note: I’m not in any way affiliated with UNICEF. I, like many others, just fell for the charming OwnAColour concept. I’m also not profiting by promoting this opportunity to...

Tour the Updated Site

I’ve been rolling out some site updates over the past few weeks, and I’m excited to share them with you now. First and foremost, Tweed’s home page has been revamped to include a central graphic that is both more dramatic and informative than the previous iteration. The explanatory text below the new image aids readability and therefore inclusivity. The new about page explains how I got into academic editing and my commitment to advancing scholarship by working with writers like you. And there’s a brand-new image of me shot by none other than Posy Quarterman, a talented photographer who really captures the heart of her subjects. (Can’t you just see in my eyes how much I love academic editing?) Designer Jeff Hendrickson also contributed greatly to the recent site updates: he smartened up the header image that appears on every single page. The services page and the resources page are easier to navigate, and I’ve added to the clients page so that it reflects more recent work. Please don’t forget about Tweed’s library of tools for scholarly writers. Feel free to share the complimentary resources with your colleagues. By sharing Tweed’s carefully created content, you help me in my mission to advance scholarship and scholarly writers. You may also notice that I’ve begun using only an initial capital in the name of the practice: Tweed. The completely capitalized “TWEED” has always been, at its core, a design decision. The website header remains in all capitals, but I have switched to “Tweed” in running text. I think this is becoming of an established editing practice and makes copy more readable....

Trade Tool: Hyphenation Tables

Many of the tools I use as a professional academic editor could be used (and well!) by thoughtful writers and revisers, so I’ve decided to start featuring some of the handier implements and resources that are part of my editing routine. This first one I actually keep in my dock. (That’s the menu bar across the bottom of my Mac’s desktop.) It’s The Chicago Manual of Style’s hyphenation table. Found in chapter seven of the big orange book, the chart summarizes Chicago’s logic regarding compounds and provides very specific examples. Let me back up for a second: Chicago has a few foundational guidelines for the treatment of compounds (to hyphenate or not?). First, recognize that compounds tend toward closure. As it becomes more common, a term that’s open (“data base”) will probably become hyphenated (“data-base”) and then eventually close completely (“database”). Second, a compound modifier appearing before the term (usually a noun) that it modifies tends to be hyphenated: “at-risk students” versus “students at risk.” Those are the most important general trends to be aware of in order to treat compounds according to Chicago style. The hyphenation table itself contains four main sections: compounds according to category compounds according to parts of speech compounds formed with specific terms words formed with prefixes So you want to know how to handle a fraction? Section 1 includes “fractions, compounds formed with” and “fractions, simple.” There, we find examples such as “one and three-quarters” and general rules. Compounds formed with fractions (“quarter-hour session”) are open in noun form and hyphenated as adjectives. Simple fractions are hyphenated all the time unless the second...

TWEED Academic Editing on Kindle!

Kindle users: you can now subscribe to the TWEED blog with your e-reader! This means that all my tutorials, guides, tips, resources, tools, service updates, and Twitter posts are auto-delivered wirelessly to your device. Amazon makes the subscription risk free with a two-week trial period. I have some really content-rich blog features coming up, so this is a felicitous development. I don’t have an e-reader myself, so if you sign up, please let me know what it’s like to experience a blog on the Kindle. Apparently, I do get a few dimes each time someone subscribes, but I have no control over that, and this is not a get-rich-quick scheme by any means. I simply jump at the chance to make TWEED’s output available in new venues. In fact, the free RSS feed remains an option for everyone, and it only requires an online aggregator such as Google Reader. Another way to stay updated is by signing up for Annotations, TWEED’s periodical newsletter. Being plugged into TWEED means that you will be automatically notified of the powerfully useful blog columns I have on the docket. As I often say, stay...

This Is Where the Academic Editing Magic Happens

Yes, this is my office. A clean workspace helps me focus, but my desk rarely looks like this. More often, the top is covered with style guides, printouts, scraps of paper, bills, and writing utensils. Especially when I’m in the middle of a project, I allow piles to grow high and wide. My new goal is a clean desk every night before I turn out the lights. Only time will tell if I have the willpower to do it. I just have to remind myself that the clean desk is in service of work, not an end in itself. Editing is similar: style, mechanics, and formatting aren’t ends in themselves. The editing process isn’t just another hoop to jump through, and it’s not an exercise in vanity. Cleanliness and consistency of expression help convey information, argument, and meaning. Here’s to another week of strong scholarship, consistent academic editing, and clean workspaces! (Are you signed up for my newsletter, Annotations? I’m hardly unbiased, but I think you’ll find it helpful and...

What TWEED is Tweeting: 2011-04-07

Junior faculty, take a look at TWEED's Dissertation-to-Book Guides: http://t.co/lVbvtYs # The new ACLS Public Fellows program places recent PhDs in government and nonprofit staff positions (+ stipend, health) – http://t.co/f7wlPQq # Academics share their tips for fighting writer's block: http://t.co/5EEZWLS # An MD-PhD makes a typographical poster out of his dissertation on cardiac arrhythmia: http://t.co/F6HSr5a # I'm currently working with a historian, a cultural theorist, and a religionist. It's exciting to be involved in projects that'll make waves. # If you're having difficulty formatting an unusual source's citation, check your bookshelves. Might any volumes have cited something similar? # Powered by Twitter...