Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘oddities

Friday Oddities…and a Brewers Playoff Series Starts

with 2 comments

Folks, it’s Friday. And as this week has been full of odd things, I figured I’d mention a few of ’em before getting to the main event (that being the Milwaukee Brewers playoff series, starting today).

A few days ago, I got an “urgent alert” warning me to stay in my home due to heavy police presence in the area. It turned out that I was on the far edge of this, and the police presence was due to a federal agent getting shot while serving a warrant. I didn’t see any extra police, but followed the updates on my computer once I figured out what was going on.

Anyway, these things do not happen often in my neck of the woods. I did find it strange, and I hope the federal agent will recover promptly. (Last I read, the agent was in stable condition. The person being served the warrant apparently committed suicide.)

Next, my Malwarebytes software decided that my own blog was spam. I had a Hell of a time getting in, to the point I seriously thought about uninstalling Malwarebytes. (It had the nerve to say “lightly trafficked websites run the risk of blah blah blah, blah blah blah.” I felt like pitching my computer out the window.) I had to tell it five times that I wanted to continue to the site before I could get in here, and every time it did the same, damned thing.

Anyway, the good oddity — if you can call it that, considering they’ve been to the playoffs now four years running — is that the Milwaukee Brewers are playing the Atlanta Braves today in the National League playoffs. This Brewers team is known for its pitching far more than its hitting, as it has the NL’s ERA leader (for lowest amount of earned runs per nine innings pitched) in Corbin Burnes along with two other starting pitchers who’d probably be aces for most of the other teams in Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta. They also have an outstanding closer in Josh Hader, and many other good relievers, besides. The Braves team is more traditionally balanced, and definitely has more hitters with playoff experience than do the Brewers.

I’m hoping the Brewers will play very well, that they’ll hit surprisingly well, and that their pitching will perform up to standard. If so, it should be an exciting series, and fun to watch for this fan.

Anyway, what’s going on for you on this Friday? (I hope you haven’t been having to deal with the same crap as I have with regards to getting Malwarebytes to recognize my own blog as a safe and protected site, mind you.) Let me know in the comments!

Some Thoughts on Editing UK and American Spellings

leave a comment »

Folks, after reading Stephanie Osborn’s latest guest blog about writing both British and American spellings — not to mention euphemisms and sayings — I started to think.

You see, I’ve edited for a number of non-Americans. Whether these have been Canadians, New Zealanders, Australians, or folks from the United Kingdom, I’ve given them the same advice I give anyone else.

So what changes when I edit for someone who isn’t from the United States? Mostly, it’s the spelling . . . but as Stephanie cogently pointed out, some of the sayings are dissimilar also.

And yes, that can be complicated, especially if I’ve never come across the euphemism before despite all of my reading and other experience.

So what do you do then, as an editor?

My job, as an editor, is to help the client, regardless of where he or she comes from. So if I don’t understand what the client is saying, I have to ask him — and I am not shy about doing so, either.

(Why I should be is possibly fodder for another blog entirely. But as always, I digress.)

Sure, it looks odd for me as an American who grew up with American spelling to see behavior spelled behaviour — or color as colour, either — though some UK-derived spellings aren’t so odd or outré.

Consider, please, that most people don’t even bat an eye when the word “theatre” is spelled with -re rather than the usual American spelling, theater. And most American writers use dialogue with the -ue rather than the technically preferred and American spelling of dialog, which drops the -ue entirely, right along with the word prologue.

Also, it’s not unknown to see an American spell the word marvellous with two l’s — even though that’s technically the British spelling — rather than marvelous with only one l.

Anyway, spelling differences aside, the advice an editor gives doesn’t tend to change very much. But you do have to make a note of it when you’re working with someone who isn’t from the United States and is writing for a world market as opposed to the U.S. market.

That aside, as a reader and reviewer, I find it refreshing to see Stephanie Osborn using British spelling in Sherlock Holmes’ point of view, while her American hyperspatial physicist, Skye Chadwick-Holmes, the wife of Sherlock, quite rightly uses the American spelling she grew up with.

Because I do think it adds to the narrative to do it that way — and, perhaps ironically, points out that the differences between men and women are not always merely cosmetic.


Quick reviewing update: I hope to have a review of LINCOLN’S BOYS up over at Shiny Book Review (SBR) by tomorrow evening. Stephanie Osborn’s fourth book in her Displaced Detective series, ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS, is tentatively scheduled for this Saturday, as what could be a better time to discuss the actual wedding of Sherlock and Skye than Romance Saturday at SBR?

And if you live in Racine and want to see a good symphonic band concert, I urge you to come out to Case High School on Thursday night to see the Racine Concert Band. I’m playing the alto saxophone in this concert, so if you know me, be sure to give me a discreet wave. (I’d say “give me a yell,” but that would be quite rude under the circumstances.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

May 14, 2014 at 5:37 pm