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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yvonne Perry and Carolyn Talk To Dash or Not and Other Essential Editing Matters

Join Editor Yvonne Perry and I on her Writers in the Sky podcast, "Welcome to Conversations with Editors." Go to and click on the link. You'll find other podcast collaborations and interviews with Yvonne and me there, too. We talk dashes, caps, entitlement and your titles and headers. C'mon, you know you'll learn something. (-; Go directly to the podcast at

Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults and speaks on issues of publishing. Find her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success at Learn more about her other authors' aids at, where writes will find lists and other helps on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her Sharing with Writers blog.


Yvonne Perry said...


Thank you for taking part in this wonderful conversation and for providing such good content for our listeners.

Many blessings,

Yvonne Perry

Barbara Milbourn said...

A note to Yvonne Perry and Carolyn Howard-Johnson

January 15, 2009
Nashville, TN

This frigid morning was a perfect time to stay indoors and listen to your pod cast about editing.

Hello Carolyn, you don’t know me, but Yvonne does. I am part of her editing team.

I enjoyed the pod cast and took notes along the way. I have a few tips and thoughts that came up to share with you, but first wanted to thank you for the unexpected fringe benefit of the pod cast. The comfort, ease, humor, (notice that serial killer—I mean comma) and camaraderie you share is delightful. It touched the listener like a topical breeze and made the experience uniquely enjoyable, informative, and feminine.

Here are a few comments and observations from the pod cast.

1. This is a particular bane to me, too—proper capitalization in headlines. The example you were looking for in Chicago, Yvonne, is (in the latest edition, 15th) 8.167 which says “. . . (3) Lowercase prepositions, regardless of length, except when they are stressed (through in A River Runs Through It), are used adverbially or adjectivally (up in Look Up, down in Turn Down, on in The On Button, etc.”

2. Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog came to me as a gift. I love the first sentence: “Diagramming sentences is one of those lost skills, like darning socks or playing the sackbut, that no one seems to miss.” Did you reach for the dictionary to look up “sackbut” too?

3. Carolyn, I chuckled at your objection to saying signage instead of signs. You think signage is bad? Try environmental graphics. I worked for a graphic design firm in Austin where I first heard (then used) both terms referring to signs. Who knew there was so much detail in their design, production, fabrication, and installation? When you see it from the inside, the word sign probably is too simple.

4. About finding and replacing the two (or more) spaces between sentences with one? There is a way you can tell exactly where all of the errant spaces are. I always edit with this feature on, and as a courtesy to my clients and a layout/design person, remove all of the extra spaces from the work. The paragraph symbol that is to the left of the zoom box on your toolbar will show you spaces and paragraphs. Click it once and you’ll see how computer savvy (or not) your author is at a glance. Click it again and the feature goes away.

5. Carolyn, I also think about your comment about the Web address being underlined (and hope I heard and interpreted this issue correctly). Word automatically underlines those www dot things, but you can right click on it and select Remove Hyperlink and it will go away.

That’s enough prattling from me; we’ve all got work to do. I don’t tell Yvonne often enough how much I admire and appreciate her for all the networking and work she does to help others. It’s a joy working with her and knowing her, and now you, Carolyn.

Thank you both again.

Barbara Milbourn
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