Calling All Copyeditors!

With the recent release of the seventeenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style, the Press is developing a fourth edition of its best-selling Copyeditor’s Handbook, scheduled to publish in April 2019, along with a companion Copyeditor’s Workbook, which will feature extensive exercises, answer keys, and commentary. Marilyn Schwartz, the Press’s former managing editor, has taken over revisions for the much-missed Amy Einsohn; below Marilyn reflects on the book’s legacy and its future.

The Copyeditor’s Handbook began, like numerous books, in a conversation many years ago. At the time, Amy Einsohn was running a freelance editing business; I was supervising a staff of production editors at the University of California Press. We both also moonlighted as instructors of copyediting for UC Berkeley’s Extension program and the local freelance cooperative Editcetera. Whenever our paths crossed, we would stop to chat about our work and to commiserate over the dearth of instructional material for our students. Someone, we agreed, should write a book for aspiring copyeditors. Eventually, Amy wrote that book, and in 2000 UC Press published her now-indispensible introduction to professional editing. As Amy’s editor, I steered the Handbook through its initial publication and the production of two subsequent editions.

Amy’s book was unstuffy, hip, and often funny—traits not normally associated with copyediting. It demolished zombie rules of grammar and usage (those undead hordes of proscriptions against split infinitives and other imaginary faults) by advocating the counsel of professional linguists and lexicographers. It described the emerging procedures for on-screen editing at the end of the era when editors marked copy with No. 1 Ticonderoga pencils. It also offered technical tips, introduced new digital resources for editors, and adjudicated transformations in language and in the formal conventions for written English that were being accelerated by the internet, email, and social media.

With each fresh edition Amy refined, amplified, and updated content to keep pace with changes in editorial practice, but over time, we started to plan a more substantial revision of the Handbook, along with the creation of a new Copyeditor’s Workbook, a complementary volume of student exercises, in both print and digital form, that would greatly expand upon the fifteen assignments originally bound into the Handbook. Regrettably, Amy’s declining health prevented her from completing these projects, but she bequeathed extensive notes for this retooling. In revising the Handbook, I have followed Amy’s own tracks—her more than 100,000 words of marginalia and scores of saved computer files—and have incorporated the latest advice from language authorities, usage guides, and new editions of major style manuals, including The Chicago Manual of Style.

Tectonic shifts in the publishing industry have affected twenty-first-century copyediting in ways that Amy could not have foreseen when she wrote the Handbook, and I have tried to address these changes as well. No longer do editors merely groom manuscripts for print production: they often prepare text for several formats, including e-book publication, print-on-demand (POD) distribution, PDF output, and a concurrent existence or an afterlife on the web. Editors are also using, sometimes improvising, new tools, such as PDF markup, collaborative writing software, videoconferencing, and institutional clients’ proprietary production systems. They are expected to know how to emend text for global audiences; to conform manuscripts to governmental mandates for “plain language” (which is actually a thing); and sometimes to comply with accessibility requirements.

With the disappearance of many staff copyediting positions, more editors are plying their trade as freelancers. The new Handbook anticipates the demands of their increasingly diversified clientele, which includes soaring numbers of independent (self-publishing) authors, international scholars writing in English as a second language, and the intermediaries who have sprung up to serve such constituencies. In this new Wild West of publishing, editors must forge a professional code of ethics, establish independent standards, and undertake continuous self-education. And they must be prepared to negotiate the inevitable mission creep—the expectation that “copyediting” encompasses the full suite of services once provided by an entire team of specialists or the staff of a traditional publisher—while never abandoning the copyeditor’s prime directive: Remember that words matter.


After receiving a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Davis, in 1976, Marilyn Schwartz joined the editorial staff of the University of California Press, where she served as Managing Editor for twenty-eight years. From 1979 through 2004 she taught Editorial Workshop, an introductory class in the Professional Sequence in Editing, for UC Berkeley Extension. She is the author of Guidelines for Bias-Free Writing (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995), prepared for the Association of American University Presses with the members of the Task Force on Bias-Free Language. Since her retirement from UC Press in 2011, she has reenrolled in university classes and devotes her spare time to long-deferred writing projects and clandestine editing assignments.


Discussing Terrorism, After 9/11

It has been sixteen years since the Twin Towers collapsed, forever changing the physical and emotional landscape of those who call the United States their home, and those worldwide who stand in solidarity. Today, we remember those we’ve lost. But we also consider the changes that 9/11 has brought, such as it’s impact on democracy, and how we can remind future generations of students and people about what this day means.

Since 9/11, how have our discussions about terrorism, whether it be by individuals or groups, changed? And how do we view other people worldwide in light of what has happened since that day?

Below, we’ve included some recommended reading to help share the continuing conversation on terrorism and its impact on our global society. #neverforget #Sept11th #Remember911

The FBI and Religion: Faith and National Security before and after 9/11 edited by Sylvester A. Johnson and Steven Weitzman

“Over its 109 years of existence, these historians [of this edited volume] and their colleagues argue, the Bureau has shaped American religious history through targeted investigations and religiously tinged rhetoric about national security.”—The Atlantic

Hear more about timely lessons for the FBI in the age of Trump. And read a sample chapter from the book.

Terror in the Mind of God, Fourth Edition: The Global Rise of Religious Violence by Mark Juergensmeyer. 

“Juergensmeyer’s work is a sensitive, comparative study of terrorist movements and the religious beliefs that motivate them.”—Washington Post

Read an excerpt regarding Burmese Buddhists and the persecution of Rohingya Muslims. And read a sample chapter from the book.

 

Constructions of Terrorism: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Research and Policy edited by Michael Stohl, Richard Burchill, and Scott Howard Englund

“Counter-terrorism would be less counterproductive if policymakers would take heed of their advice.” —Alex P. Schmid, Research Fellow and Director of the Terrorism Research Initiative at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, The Hague

And read the introduction from the book.

 

The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to ISIS, Updated Edition with a New Preface and Final Chapter edited by Gérard Chaliand and Arnaud Blin

“Provides a useful and levelheaded survey of a subject that is regularly misunderstood and often manipulated.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“A recommendable book for sociologists, anthropologists and social scientists who are interested by these types of hot topics.”—International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies

Read a sample chapter from the book.

Caravan of Martyrs: Sacrifice and Suicide Bombing in Afghanistan by David B. Edwards 

“Such a beautifully written and imaginative work comes along rarely—at once a deeply felt personal memoir about the author’s anthropological encounters with Afghanistan and a highly original theory about suicide bombing as sacrifice.”—Steven C. Caton, Khalid Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulrahman Al Saud Professor of Contemporary Arab Studies, Harvard University

Read a sample chapter from the book.

A Culture of Conspiracy, 2nd Edition: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America by Michael Barkun

“Ideas, even bizarre and marginalized ideas, do have consequences, and we ignore them at our peril. Barkun’s explorations, like the canary in the coal mine, warn us of what may lie ahead.”—Paul Boyer Christian Century

Read an interview with the author. And read an excerpt from the book.

 

The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays by Richard Taruskin

“This is one of the most important books about music you’ll read this year. . . . No one has bridged the gap between music scholarship and mainstream media as virtuosically as Taruskin.”—Tom Service The Guardian

Read a sample chapter from the book.


False Balance, Binary Discourse, and Critical Thinking

This guest post is published as part of a series related to the American Sociological Association conference from August 12 – 15 in Montreal, Quebec. #ASA17

By Peter M. Nardi, author of Critical Thinking: Tools for Evaluating Research

Just because two sides of a story are presented does not necessarily mean the truth is somewhere in the middle. Nor does it mean there are only two sides and each side is equally balanced. Most social behaviors and attitudes exist for complex reasons. When people argue from a “two-sides-of-the-coin” perspective, we fail to realize that there are in fact multiple sides, perhaps even a continuum with viewpoints all along the way.

Humans have a tendency to dichotomize reality: male and female, life and death, religious and nonreligious, tall and short, body and soul, pro and con, Republican and Democrat. How simplistic to think of reality in such limited ways with such minimal binary conceptualizations.

As anyone who has ever watched television news knows, endless debates about controversial topics characterize cable shows. Partly due to journalistic ethics of demonstrating fairness by providing balance, viewers get to experience shouting matches and unintelligent debates among competing perspectives.

Despite engaging with alternative ideas and hearing varied views, we tend to listen selectively and employ confirmation bias in reinforcing our already-held opinions. What should be presentations of facts and scientifically-derived evidence typically turn out to be shouting contests of personal opinions. A critical thinker needs to discern these opinions, attend to the wide-range of claims and data, and decide what a fair and balanced approach to the issues should be. Not all topics require a range of positions, of course; you wouldn’t have a member of the Ku Klux Klan as a balance to someone highlighting hate crimes against ethnic and racial minorities. Or would you, as presidential comments about recent news events from Charlottesville suggest?

When engaging with news stories, research, and media reports, it’s important to critically think about the ways fairness and balance may actually be misused. Objectivity in gathering information is almost always affected by some subjective elements of those people collecting, interpreting, and disseminating the facts. Often just the choice of what to report or research is reflective of someone’s preferences and biases.

Notice also that when established views or facts are questioned by an activist group or individual protesting the status quo, media often then seek out commentary from “the other side” composed of established leaders and officials, thereby reinforcing the conventional wisdom and power positions.

Reporting of controversial events with balance may seem fair unless the language, visuals, and commentary used in introducing various positions are loaded with consciously chosen or inadvertent bias. Look for such labels as “the so-called leader” or defining the murderer as a “thug” or a “terrorist” or a “loner.” What impact do these loaded words have on the public when a claim is made in this manner?

One of the problems with balance in the media is that it can distort the proportion of opposing views. When two sides are given equal treatment, viewers might assume a 50-50 split on important topics, thereby creating a false impression. False balance occurs when “both sides” are presented despite one perspective being overwhelmingly agreed upon by scientific consensus. Research confirms that this kind of two-sided balancing creates uncertainty about the topic in the public eye. Consider that while there is 97% agreement among scientists (in published peer-reviewed articles taking a position) that human activity causes global warming and climate changes, less than half of respondents in a Pew Research study thought scientists agreed on this subject.

When the media highlight an “other side of the coin” skeptical view to balance a scientifically agreed upon position, it creates an impression that these 3% represent half of the experts. Critical thinking skills demand we look more closely at these public presentations of complex issues. Such false balance and belief in a limited binary approach perpetuates the divisions in public discourse, social policy, and presidential pronouncements. False balance and simplistic “sides of the coin” arguments are no way to address the needs of a society and its citizens seeking leadership and intelligent responses to the complexities facing us today.


Peter M. Nardi is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Pitzer College. He is the author of Doing Survey Research: A Guide to Quantitative Methods.

For Critical Thinking: Tools for Evaluation Research, visit the  companion website, which includes links to articles and books mentioned in the chapters, illustrative items, videos, and current news and research that elaborate on each chapter’s key concepts.


From the Editor: Meet Me at ICA to Chat about Two New Book Series

By Lyn Uhl, Executive Editor of Communication

It’s been a busy year at the Press for Communication.

Introducing: Communication for Social Justice Activism Series

First off, we’re proud to announce our new series in Communication for Social Justice Activism. This series has been in development for months and now the call for proposals has been announced on CRTNET. Our wonderful co-editors Patricia S. Parker and Lawrence R. Frey are available via email to answer any questions and to help potential authors to shape their proposals. And I will be at the ICA conference later this week to meet with anyone who wants to discuss a book idea for the series.

Upcoming: Identity Complexities, Intersectionality, and Communication Series

Another series, to be edited by Cindy Griffin, is in development. The series title is Identity Complexities, Intersectionality, and Communication. The series encourages scholars to develop and explore intersectional approaches and orientations to understanding the ways we communicate about and within our social, cultural, political, ideological, and lived positions. Grounded in communication, the goals of this series are to stimulate and support scholarship and texts that

  • increase our understanding of the complexities of identities, their interlocking natures, and the ways those interlocking complexities make themselves known
  • develop a more complex and robust vocabulary around these understandings and the roles communication might play in this vocabulary and understanding
  • offer instructors accessible, contemporary, interesting, and provocative material for their classrooms.

Expect a call for proposals soon for this series!

Media Scholars

Are you a media scholar? I will be on a media listening tour during ICA. Please be in touch if you would like to discuss a book idea or if you would be willing to participate in a focus group for a new book series in media and technology.

Meet Me at ICA!

Again, I will be on site at ICA from May 25 -29. I’d would be happy to speak with you about any of the above book series or other book ideas you might have. You can reach me at luhl@ucpress.edu or (617)905-3681. Schedule an appointment in advance or call when you have a free moment.

Looking forward to seeing you at ICA!


Introducing Communication for Social Justice Activism Series

The Time is Right, The Time is Now

Communication professors and scholars are in a unique position to guide the next generation in reshaping the values of our society to be more equitable and just.

To this end, we are proud to introduce the Communication for Social Justice Activism Series with series editors Patricia S. Parker of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Lawrence R. Frey of the University of Colorado Boulder. Communication for social justice activism involves people using communication theories, methods, pedagogies, and other practices to work with and for oppressed, marginalized, and under-resourced groups, as well as with activist groups and organizations, to intervene into inequitable systems and make their structures and practices more just.

 

 

 

 

Praise for the Series

“The time is right if not overdue for such a series. The three types of books each with their own series, is visionary. An array of resources, allowing teachers and students to select volumes that connect closely to their work is what is needed.”Spoma Jovanovic, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

“It stands to fill a significant gap in current literature in its integration of activism and social justice into core communication curricula. The series will offer a much-needed forum for a growing area of interest in the field, and one of deep urgency for communication pedagogy and scholarship.”Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz, The University of Iowa

Join Us—Become an Author!

Proposals for the series should be submitted to Executive Editor Lyn Uhl at luhl@ucpress.edu. Manuscripts will then go through the University of California Press’ standard review and approval process.

Learn more at: www.ucpress.edu/go/commsocialjustice.


Words Matter

by Elizabeth Keating and Sirkka Jarvenpaa, co-authors of Words Matter: Communicating Effectively in the New Global Office

This guest post is published in conjunction with the American Anthropological Association conference in Minneapolis. Check back regularly for new posts through the end of the conference on November 20th.

UC Press is proud to be part of the AAUP’s fifth annual University Press Week. Check out our blog and social media channels through Nov. 19th (plus follow hashtags #ReadUp #UPWeek), and learn how we, along with 40 of our scholarly press colleagues, work diligently to publish vital works benefitting educational, specialized research, and general interest communities.

Words Matter Keating JarvenpaaWe started writing Words Matter with the idea of sharing our findings with the engineers we studied, who so generously allowed us into their worlds. As we got more into the project we realized that the book could be useful to other professionals working in similar environments–global office settings where most interactions are mediated through technology, and to students about to go into the work world.

Words Matter takes the reader into the world of virtual teamwork on a global scale. We look at engineers collaborating from four world areas, Romania, India, Brazil and the US–places and people with quite different histories and cultural environments. Our aim is show readers what we observed when we traveled to study the engineers in four continents—that the engineers were skillfully managing multiple challenges of virtual designing, but that they were often frustrated by, to them, inexplicable breakdowns in communication, which also led to breakdowns in trust. We noticed as we talked to them and analyzed their interactions that the “model” of communication—how communication works and how to get it back on track after breakdowns—they were operating with was too narrow for the demands of technologically-mediated environments, where comments cross the globe in seconds and there are no face-to-face interactions. The engineers’ communication model worked perfectly well in the home office, but in the global office setting, they found, as one engineer said, “Language can betray you.” Their words had been misunderstood in serious ways, surprising them and resulting in project delays and damaged relationships. They realized that culture played a much bigger part in their interactions than they anticipated. When we first met the engineers, they told us they needed to know more about culture. In engineering school their demanding curriculums had not left time for courses in anthropology or communication.

Many people were surprised that we chose to study engineers’ communication, because of stereotypes about engineers. In fact, shortly after we began fieldwork, one of the engineers told us the following joke: “How do you tell an engineer with social skills?” We didn’t know. He said, “He looks at your shoes instead of his shoes.” But contrary to stereotypes about lack of social skills, we found the engineers to be surprisingly nostalgic for face-to-face interaction. They longed for opportunities for informal interactions with their global colleagues, and missed the casual “watercooler” and “hallway meetings” that are an important part of any professional work space. In technologically-mediated space, there are few opportunities to observe and learn about cultural differences in behavior.

In our book, we draw from many other researchers’ work, for example, in stressing how language is a tool for action, and how the same action can be expressed differently by different groups, meaning actions can be misinterpreted outside the group. We discuss how cultural differences in notions of moral personhood affect communication practices and interpretation.

It’s not typical for a linguistic anthropologist and a business expert to write a book together. We learned a great deal about not only engineering in global office settings, but how to do cross-disciplinary collaboration in research, writing, and in disseminating the results of our research.

When sharing on social media, please be sure to use the #AAA2016 hashtag!


Elizabeth Keating standing copyElizabeth Keating is a professor at the University of Texas, Austin, and an award-winning scholar in the field of linguistic anthropology. She has researched communication and design practice among engineers, mathematicians, doctors, and programmers and has also studied the impact of new communication technology on deaf families and their interactions with sign language.

 

SirkkaJarvenpaa_photo copy

Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa is an award-winning scholar and professor in business administration at the University of Texas, Austin, where she also directs the Center for Business, Technology, and Law. She studies and writes about virtual organizations and teams as well as global electronic commerce.

 


Editor Spotlight: Lyn Uhl, Executive Editor for Communication

photo-LinkedIn-Lyn.UhlIn this Q&A with Executive Executive Editor Lyn Uhl, we learn about what brought her to publishing and her plans for the new Communication list.

Why did you become an acquisitions editor? 

It seemed cooler than being a firefighter. As nerdy or cliché as it may sound, I chose publishing because I’ve always loved books and being a part of making them seemed like the best job in the world. The acquisition part of my job has a detective component that really motivates me and the process of helping authors develop their ideas is creative and fun.

What projects are you working on now to develop the Communication list at UC Press? 

I’ve been at the press for one year and I’m happy that I already have projects at all stages of development. For example:

  • My first book at UC Press is Constructions of Terrorism with Michael Stohl (UC Santa Barbara Communication Department and Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies), Richard Burchill, and Scott Englund. It’s now in the hands of our book production team and will publish in Fall 2017.
  • My most recent signings include a book for the course on Strategic Environmental Communication by Lisa Leombruni at UC Santa Barbara.
  • I just finished reviewing a wonderful book on gender and identity communication, which I hope to sign to our list soon.
  • And I am working with two amazing scholars—Patricia Parker (Department Chair at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Lawrence Frey (Professor at University of Colorado, Boulder)—to develop a new series of books in the area of social justice and activism.

You’re developing new textbooks and course books. Why is new content intended for use in courses important to you? 

Communication is a vibrant and growing field right now, and there are many new and emerging topics and courses that require new content. It’s exciting to work on the first book in an area or the first book with an important new approach. Also, with so many books in advanced (9th and 10th) editions and large higher education publishers reducing their focus on upper division courses, there is often a need for a new defining text written from the ground up.

Are there other particular courses where you’re looking to develop new content?

Yes, it’s actually a pretty long list. But my focus right now is on intercultural communication, organizational communication, and global communication. I’m also exploring a series idea in rhetoric.

Join Us 

Interested in publishing your work with Lyn and UC Press? Contact Lyn at luhl@ucpress.edu. Or set up a time to meet Lyn at the National Communication Association conference from November 10-13 in Philadelphia.

And learn more about Communication and the Higher Education Program.

HighCreatives_ads_rev22

 


Elizabeth Keating on her new book, Words Matter

by Elizabeth Keating, coauthor of Words Matter: Communicating Effectively in the New Global Office

This post originally appeared on the CaMP Anthropology blog, and has been republished with their permission.

Interview by Ilana Gershon

Since the book is written for a general audience, could you say a little about how you would explain the book to linguistic and media anthropologists who are considering using this in a class, and want to know what it is about.

For teachers of linguistic anthropology concerned with having an impact on students’ understanding of language and culture, especially beyond the classroom, this book links the classroom with the paid work world. Concepts and methods in linguistic anthropology are highly relevant to job skills. For one thing, there is understanding how local one’s own communication habits and expectations of others are. For another, understanding how communication really works builds better skills to repair misunderstandings. This book rather unabashedly makes a connection between learning about linguistic anthropology and becoming a more flexible, interested cross cultural communicator. One of the main points in the book is that because of technology, many people are working in virtual teams, or virtually with colleagues in other places. This results in little face-to-face time, or time to hang out and learn about others’ habits, preferences, and life stories. There’s little environmental context. Without the ability orWords Matter Keating Jarvenpaatime to learn from each other, there is a role for linguistic anthropology principles to play in generating understandings. I’m thinking of general principles like how people do things with words, that meaning is negotiated, social roles, socialization, the workings of convention in meaning, common ground and context, etc. In the book there are examples taken from engineers’ workdays, engineers trying to design things together in virtual teams, while living and working in four different continents.

The value in the classroom is the application of linguistic anthropology concepts to the engineers’ struggles with their inadequate communication model.  The book proposes a better communication model based on linguistic anthropology. We discuss how culture affects language use, with examples from the engineers and from other researchers’ work. To take a simple example, if the students have never thought about differences in question asking behavior—that it might not be felt to be appropriate in a certain group to ask a question (or only appropriate for the boss to be asking questions)– they could have unpleasant surprises at work if they assume that an absence of questions means everything is understood.

In most linguistic anthropology and media classes, students are preparing for many different types of careers, some in similar settings to the engineers. It’s useful to have a way to link linguistic anthropology to students’ desire to prepare themselves for work after university. When my co-author asked one of her graduate business research assistants to read the draft book manuscript, he said afterwards that he didn’t think he should be paid, since he learned so much. Another reader from the business world said he finally understood the reason behind his colleague’s “exasperating” behavior of not asking questions.

Continue reading “Elizabeth Keating on her new book, Words Matter”


Save 40% with UC Press during the 2015 National Communication Association Conference

We’re celebrating University Press Week #UPWeek by taking part in their scholarly press blog tour through this Friday. Today’s blog tour theme is centered around “Design in UP and Scholarly Publishing”; please visit the blogs of our colleagues to read and learn more: Northwestern University Press, Princeton University Press, MIT Press, University Press of Kansas, Georgetown University Press, Syracuse University Press, Stanford University Press, Harvard University Press, Athabasca University Press, and Yale University Press

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The NCA 101st Annual Convention convenes on November 19 through 22 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Check out the following titles and save 40% online with discount code 16E8104, or request an exam copy for consideration to use in your upcoming classes. The discount code expires December 6, 2015.

For current meeting news, check out NCA’s website, @NatComm, and #NCA15!