An Editor Thinks About Words

One of the things that editors tell authors is if they aren’t sure about the proper usage to be sure they are consistent. An example is if an author is not sure how to use italics according to a particular publisher’s policy, just be consistent so it will be easy for the publisher to make adjustments. However, this week I’ve been reading a manuscript which frustrated me even though there is consistency.

In this manuscript there are many references to where people are worshiping. According to the author the people gather at a “alter.” Now, obviously, the author should have used the term “altar.” In other areas one character “waives” to another character. Again, obviously, the author should have used the word “waves.”

I appreciate the fact the author is consistent in both these situations, but these are problems an author needs to correct and to which he or she needs to be aware. I urge authors to choose their words carefully and to know the meaning of those words. This shouts to me of an author who needs to do some studying.

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