Girl Friday Copyeditor and
Proofreader Handbook

APPENDICES


Appendix A: Capitalization vs. Lowercase

Titles with Personal Names:

  • US president Jill Stein [a descriptive phrase]
  • President Jill Stein [a title]
  • CIA agent Leamas [a descriptive phrase]
  • Agent Leamas [a title]
  • Linguistics professor Trudeau [a descriptive phrase]
  • Professor Trudeau [a title]
 

Examples from CMS 8.20:

  • the empress Elizabeth of Austria (but Empress Elizabeth of Austria)
  • German chancellor Angela Merkel (but Chancellor Merkel)
  • the German-born pope Benedict XVI
  • former president Carter
  • former presidents Reagan and Ford
  • the then secretary of state Colin Powell
 
 

Names and Titles Beginning with Articles (when should it be “the,” “The,” The, or just plain the?)

  • the shah
  • the queen
  • Leo Messi, “the Flea” [a nickname; see CMS 8.33]
  • Clint Dempsey, “the Deuce” [a nickname]
  • the Guardian [a newspaper]
  • the Stranger [a newspaper]
  • the Atlantic [a magazine]
  • the Paris Review [a magazine]
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being [a book]
  • The Idiot [a book]
  • “The Expat Life” [an article published at a blog]
  • The F Word [the blog itself; see CMS 8.187]
  • “The Electric Ant” [a short story]
  • “The Star-Spangled Banner” [a song; see CMS 8.189]
  • the Pixies [a band; lowercase, even though the band caps it; see CMS 8.67]
  • the Darkness [a band; lowercase “t,” even though the band caps it]
  • the Makery [a business name; lowercase “t,” even though the business caps it on its site; see CMS 8.67]
  • the Joinery [a business name]
 

Compass Points, Regions, and More (see CMS 8.46)

  • north, south, east, west [directions / points on a compass]
     
  • the North [region of a country]
  • the South [region of a country]
  • southern, southerner

but

  • Southern, Southerner [re the American Civil War]
  • southwestern Michigan [a general area]
  • Southern California [an established region]
  • the East, Eastern [re the Orient]
  • the West, Western [re the Occident]
     
  • New York State [see CMS 8.50]
  • the state of New York
  • Greater Seattle [see CMS 8.48]
  • the greater Seattle area

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Appendix B: Avoid Comma Splices

Let’s have a laugh, at work, whilst learning grammar, what’s the harm?

Let’s have a laugh, at work, whilst learning grammar. What’s the harm?

Buckle in, we’re in it for the long haul.

Buckle in. We’re in it for the long haul.

She took the elevator up, then she took it down.

She took the elevator up. Then she took it down.

* But short comma splices are sometimes acceptable. *

I want you to trust me, I do. [note it on the style sheet]


Appendix C: Use a Comma with Independent Clauses Joined by a Conjunction

She didn’t see him but she heard him and saw the flashlight’s glow from inside the car.

She didn’t see him, but heard him and saw the flashlight’s glow from inside the car.

She didn’t see him, but she heard him and saw the flashlight’s glow from inside the car.

But omission of the comma is OK when the clauses are short and closely related.

After the cataclysm, Jack went up the hill and Jill went down. [note it on the style sheet]


Appendix D: Use a Semicolon with Independent Clauses Not Joined by a Conjunction

She didn’t see him, she heard him. [note it on the style sheet]

She didn’t see him she heard him.

She didn’t see him; she heard him.

She didn’t see him, however she heard him.

She didn’t see him, however, she heard him.

She didn’t see him; however, she heard him.

*however is an adverb in these examples, not a conjunction (CMS 6.55)


Appendix E: A Series Must Be Parallel in Construction

He smelled of gasoline, Dumpster juice, gunpowder, and felt like a hundred bucks.

He smelled of gasoline, Dumpster juice, and gunpowder and felt like a hundred bucks.

He smelled of gasoline, Dumpster juice, and gunpowder, and he felt like a hundred bucks.

Jane is an author, blogger, mother of three, and likes to bike.

Jane is an author, blogger, and mother of three and likes to bike.

Jane is an author, blogger, and mother of three, and she likes to bike.

Jane is an author, blogger, and mother of three who likes to bike.


Appendix F: Dialogue Attribution and Separation

Dialogue Attribution

“Computer, load up Celery Man, please,” Paul sipped his coffee.

“Computer, load up Celery Man, please.” Paul sipped his coffee.

“Computer, load up Celery Man, please,” Paul said, sipping his coffee.

“Computer, load up Celery Man, please,” Paul smiled.

“Computer, load up Celery Man, please,” Paul said, smiling.

The man groaned, “My brother will avenge my death. He’s chief of the cartel.” [Try it.]

The man groaned. “My brother will avenge my death. He’s chief of the cartel.”

“No way—that’s physically impossible,” she laughed. [Try it.]

“No way—that’s physically impossible,” she said, laughing.

Dialogue Separation and Attribution

 

“Computer, can you show me a flarhgunnstow?” Paul asked.

“What?” My eyes must have been huge, because Paul laughed and said:

“It’s pronounced flarh-gunn-stow.”

 
 

“Computer, can you show me a flarhgunnstow?” Paul asked.

“What?”

My eyes must have been huge, because Paul laughed and said, “It’s pronounced flarh-gunn-stow.”

 
 

“Computer, do we have any new sequences?” Paul asked. Computer looked at him and nodded.

“I have a beta sequence I’ve been working on. Would you like to see it?”

Paul thought for a moment before responding.

“All right.”

 
 

“Computer, do we have any new sequences?” Paul asked.

Computer looked at him and nodded. “I have a beta sequence I’ve been working on. Would you like to see it?”

Paul thought for a moment before responding. “All right.”

 
 

“Of course!” said the professor, pretending he remembered me. He paused and let go of my hand. “Naturally I recall now. My brightest student,” he said.

 
 

“Of course!” said the professor, pretending he remembered me. He paused and let go of my hand. “Naturally I recall now. My brightest student.”


Appendix G: Misplaced / Dangling Modifiers

Behind our camera shot, walking up the opposite side of the street, I spotted a flash of the distinctive green uniform worn by the doormen and porters at the Ritz.

Behind our camera shot, on the opposite side of the street, was a flash of the distinctive green uniform worn by the doormen and porters at the Ritz.

Barely big enough to accommodate the oval Formica table and twelve chairs it held within, there were no windows in the room, just a pair of sputtering vents and a strip of fluorescent lights hugging the ceiling tiles.

The room was barely big enough to accommodate the oval Formica table and twelve chairs it held within, and it had no windows, just a pair of sputtering vents and a strip of fluorescent lights hugging the ceiling tiles.

Dressed in a black pea coat over red t-shirt with a hounds tooth porkpie and smoking a slim cigar, Frank puts his age at twenty-five.

Dressed in a black peacoat over red T-shirt with a houndstooth porkpie and smoking a slim cigar, the kid is about twenty-five, Frank would say.


Appendix H: Style Sheet Example for an Amazon Project

This example style sheet is a particularly detailed one. It is a style sheet for the third installment in a series, and thus it incorporates rules, names, and terms from the previous novels, and many are called out as such. We have highlighted in yellow recurring issues across many projects or especially notable issues to be aware of. Keep in mind that this is an example style sheet. It does not lay out rules that you must follow while copyediting manuscripts. Rather, it lays out the rules that were followed to best fit this particular manuscript. Likewise, it does not lay out a formatting system that you must follow when creating your style sheet.


Appendix I: Verifying Terms

All of the highlighted terms in the sample have been verified by the copyeditor with appropriate reference materials and added to the style sheet. The copyeditor has queried and/or made adjustments to the remaining terms.

Click here to download the sample in .pdf format

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Appendix J: Sample Timelines on Style Sheet

The following are examples of basic timelines that worked for their narratives. A more detailed timeline might be necessary for more complex narratives.

TIMELINE 1

July 3, 2002, 5:00 p.m.: Grace brings baby Clementine to hospital. (p. 15)

Within an hour, Clementine falls unconscious. (p. 17)

Clementine dies in urgent-care center twenty-four hours after arrival. (p. 23)

Around 11:00 p.m., Grace questioned by detectives from child welfare. (p. 33)

The questioning lasts well past midnight. (p. 34)

Present time is about 12 years after July 3, 2002. (p. 5)

 

TIMELINE 2

1910: Johann’s mother is in her early 20s (p. 5)

1915: Dieter is born (p. 10)

1918: Johann is born (p. 10)

1934: Johann is 17 years old (p. 20)

Dieter is 20

Johann and Dieter’s father is arrested (p. 25)

1938: Johann in a relationship w/ Anja (p. 45)

1941: Johann is called up to serve in the army (p. 55)

1945: Johann (now 30 28* years old) reunited with Dieter (p. 105)

*Error caught thanks to timeline. The manuscript had said 30 years old, but that can’t be correct based on the character’s DOB recorded on timeline.

 

TIMELINE 3

Current time: August 2014 (p. 80)

1980s: Sarah as a child, grandfather’s confrontation w/ her dad. (p. 83)

Sarah @ 6 yrs old has tonsils out. (p. 85)

20 years since Price and Jon last saw each other (in Manila) (p. 120)

Sarah @ 13 yrs old, her cousin two years older—her mother’s nephew. (p. 130)

Sarah’s mother dies when Sarah is 16 yrs old, and her father soon leaves for LA. (p. 21)

Piper leaves Jon about four months ago (p. 146).

Sarah met her husband nearly 15 yrs ago (her grandfather was in his eighties). (p. 25)

Whitney’s father abandons family when Whitney’s about 4 yrs old. (p. 27)