It didn’t take me very long to go through the copy-editing of Zero Point. There were a few questions asked to which the answers ranged from, ‘Yes, do it,’ to, ‘No, leave it alone’. What would you think the answer should be, for example, to changing EMR and EMF to EM radiation and EM field? The rest of it was all about house style. I had a momentary worry when I thought they might be deleting all my ellipses until I was informed they were supplanting them with just a more widely-spaced version. I also learned something about enquire/inquire (as used by Macmillan). The former is for general usage, the latter is used more for asking for information as part of a formal investigation. I really should have known this since the distinction is in their dictionary definitions.
Perhaps it’s time for me to pick up and read again Fowler’s Modern English Usage. Incidentally another much simpler book to read about this sort of stuff is Bill Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words, though in this case it doesn’t happen to make the distinction.
After finishing with Zero Point, also writing the acknowledgements and dedication, I was undecided for a while about how to proceed. I really needed to look at Jupiter War again, but was reluctant to get into another boring read-through when I was having so much fun with Penny Royal. I decided on the boring read-through, since it wasn’t going to just go away, and it’s going quite well. Little inconsistencies and conflicts that were niggling at the back of my mind it turns out I had already nailed, and the reading is easy. I’m now more than halfway through it and when I’m done I’ll print it up, hand it over to Caroline, then later go through it myself again, backwards.
Then it’s back to Penny Royal.