August and September 2021 brought us new members and the CIEP conference. We took a stand on key issues and enjoyed reading about reference books, focusing on specifics of business practice and fiction editing, and encountering a wealth of idle curiosities. Finally, we celebrated autumn’s arrival with the wonderful Brian Bilston.
In August we ran a two-week flash offer on membership via our social media channels. This got a fantastic response, with 361 new members joining us. Welcome to every one of you!
Then at the beginning of September we launched three new CIEP guides, all of which, like the rest of our wide-ranging suite, are free to our members – just one of the benefits of joining the Institute.
In August and September we continued to use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter in the run-up to the CIEP annual conference, and we posted a video and text-based posts about the exciting speaker line-up.
There was some tremendous live tweeting by delegates throughout the conference, and more than one comment from people suffering from FOMO who wished they’d booked a place! Thanks to everyone who shared their conference experience through social media. You can still see what went on via the hashtag #CIEP21. Soon we’ll release reviews of the brilliant conference sessions and a round-up of the conference blogs, so the excitement doesn’t need to stop just yet.
Where we stand
During these two months we made it clear where the CIEP stands on some key issues. We blogged about why we’re no longer using the terms ‘non-native’ and ‘native’ and we introduced our environmental working group.
Our newly updated equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) web page contains links to all of our own key resources, our recent public statements on racism in publishing and beyond, and ideas about where you can go for more information on EDI. We hope this page will become a vital part of every editor’s toolkit.
Talking of toolkits: reference books. We love them, don’t we? In August we heard from the CIEP’s friend Dr Fraser Dallachy on the origins of the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary, a mammoth undertaking that when finished in 2009 after ‘over fifty years of sorting and categorising’ was roundly celebrated: ‘there was much rejoicing, speech-making, and imbibing of wine’.
This year marked the 25th anniversary of the Dictionary of Caribbean English. The OED recently worked with Dr Jeannette Allsopp, who founded the Richard and Jeannette Allsopp Centre for Caribbean Lexicography, and many others to expand its coverage of Caribbean English, revising over 120 entries in the OED and adding more than 100 new ones. One word mentioned in the article was tabanca, ‘the name that Trinidadians have given to the longing and melancholy they feel after the end of carnival’. A bit like CIEP members feel after the conference, perhaps.
To cheer us up, how about some positive new words? The crop at the end of August from Cambridge Dictionaries – ‘volunteercation’, ‘peace tourism’ and ‘kindness economy’ – should do the trick. If not, check out the article they posted a mere week later about the language of reading, including ‘getting lost in a book’ and ‘bookworm’ (you called?). And then, the week after that, Cambridge Dictionaries did it again with an article about words and terms connected with trust and loyalty. Happy sighs all round.
There was plenty of practical content during this period: critical-thinking copyediting, getting paid by the project, formatting a book using Word Styles and counting pages in a manuscript submission. And, ever a favourite topic: style sheets – what they are and how to use them.
We curated a variety of articles for fiction editors in August and September, from ‘“Whoever/whomever” in fiction: Which should your character use?’, which sounds niche but was actually an interesting discussion about how much grammar we should expect our characters to know and employ, to Ruth Ozeki, author of The Book of Form and Emptiness, on process and acceptance, and from avoiding anachronisms in fiction to the importance of curiosity and tension to storytelling.
Curiosities for idle moments
There were curiosities of other kinds, too: the sort of lighter content that always goes down well with our friends and followers, including pangrams (sentences that contain all 26 letters of the English alphabet) and which library matches our personality. We enjoyed some beautiful colophons and discovered why there’s no ‘n’ in restaurateur. We found out how the poetic greats were snubbed and tried out seven Shakespearean insults. We even learned 22 charming words for nasty people, which might come in handy one day. And do you know what the opposite of déjà vu is? Now you do. Don’t worry about the odd feeling that you’ve read it before – it’s because you follow us on social media, of course!
Finally, as September edged towards October our thoughts turned to autumn, and, joyfully, Brian Bilston met us right there with a poem entitled ‘The problem of writing poems in the shape of deciduous trees’. If you weren’t one of the 393 people on our social media platforms who liked or loved this poem, do click through. It’s a tree-t.
The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) is a non-profit body promoting excellence in English language editing. We set and demonstrate editorial standards, and we are a community, training hub and support network for editorial professionals – the people who work to make text accurate, clear and fit for purpose.
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Posted by Abi Saffrey, CIEP blog coordinator.
The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the CIEP.