Have you missed me?

I’ve missed you. You, my readers, and you, my blog. November came and went without so much as a “Yeah, I’m alive” post. (I did maintenance, though. Updates and such. Just no writing.)

Life got out of hand for my clients and me last month, and it’s threatening to stay that way this month, too. Regardless, I’m determined to write something so you don’t all give up on me.

I finished reading Carol Fisher Saller’s Moonlight Blogger over the weekend. She’s a slightly older, better educated me. That is to say, she says what I say but better. (I even talk to myself like she does, apparently. I’m not nearly as worried about that, now.) And because I finished that, now I’m determined to learn the keyboard shortcuts for Word.

I heard the gasps. I did.

Not ALL of them, of course, just the ones I know I’ll use most often, like bold, italic, undo, insert comment, toggle tracking off/on (for those silent changes I’m going to begin making), delete 1 word to left/right, and select text.

Yes, I’ve been a slave to the mouse/trackball for all these years. It’s time to branch out.

I’ve been busy.

I haven’t been busy writing blog posts, obviously, but I’ve been busy.

In addition to the moving of the older bonus daughter to her college digs last weekend, I’ve also been juggling multiple editing projects, most of which are in the same phase (starting this month, that is). That means busier than usual. See, we need a new furnace installed, so I’m taking on extra work to make the money to pay the man to install it.

BUSY.

Anyway, I just sent one book back to the author for approval last night. I finished the initial read-through on another yesterday afternoon, and I’m in the middle of that phase with a third one (the shortest of the three, at 57K words). I’m waiting for a fourth to hit my inbox in a week or two; the author’s going to Japan until mid-December or so, and we’ll be in touch while he’s there thanks to the magic of teh intarwebz, but I know he wants to get it to me in a timely fashion so I can turn it around fairly quickly. (It’s the fourth installment in a series, if you’re wondering, and I happen to have edited everything this man has ever written. Everything. No kidding. Watching him develop his skills is like having a front-row seat at Penn and Teller, except sometimes he lets us see past the distractions in a blog post or such. He doesn’t realize how much he’s taught me.)

So anyway, that’s why I haven’t posted here since late August.

Working. Busy. Yeah.

“For N o’clock” or “by N o’clock?”

When you have an appointment, do you say you need to be there “for” or “by” the scheduled time?

I have always said “by.” I need to be at the office by nine o’clock.

My husband, however, has always said “for.” He needs to be at the office for eight o’clock.

The first time I heard it, I mentally stopped, stock still. “For?” Surely you mean “by,” right? I didn’t ask, though. I just made a note and kept listening. Sure enough, that’s the phrasing he always uses. He was born in MA and grew up in RI. He’s not British, which this usage would seem to suggest (it’s “exclusively” BrE, according to Algeo’s British or American English?”: A handbook of word and grammar patterns).

I’ll suggest it may be less “exclusive” than his research led him to report. He states “0 iptmw in CIC texts” for AmE. In English (AmE, precisely), that means zero instances per ten million words in the Cambridge International Corpus. I can swear to the existence of three American English native speakers (my husband and his two daughters) who use “for” where I use “by” in this particular construction. Is it a spoken AmE thing, but not a written AmE thing?

I’d love to hear from linguists who have experience with this wording. Is it as “exclusive” as Algeo says? Or are there other AmE speakers (perhaps from New England, or perhaps only in that little bit of MA and RI) who use this? I’m a corn-fed Midwestern gal of Frisian extraction. This British thing . . . I didn’t grow up with this.

I’m still here.

It’s been ten days since my last post. (I swear, I’m not Catholic. I was raised Dutch Reformed. I’ve never been to confession, but I know how it goes from tv and movies and stuff.)

I’ve been working like a fiend on concurrent projects since the beginning of July. Being busy is wonderful, but not being able to make time for blogging is a drag. So, I’m tossing this up here quickly to say “I’m still here.”

One debut novel edited and returned, topping out at nearly 76,000 words.

One installment in a series edited and returned, about 35,000 words or so (I honestly don’t recall, but it’s a rip-roaring story just like the others before it!). If you want to know, it’s Harry Gets Her Wings by Steve Turnbull, the third book in the IRON PEGASUS series.

One memoir edited and returned. I haven’t a clue how many words. It was a very moving experience, though, touching the life of a WWII vet in that manner.

And now, I’ve started another debut piece, AND I’ve done a sample edit for a potential client, AND I’ve penciled in the fourth book in a series (THE MINUS FACTION by Rick Wayne, for anyone who might be interested) on my calendar for later this fall.

Busy, busy, busy. There should be a proper blog post coming next week, if all goes anywhere near as I have planned. Maybe even another Superannuated Syntax post.

Who knows?

Superannuated Syntax: For Such Fell Purpose

“Fell” needs to be resurrected in the adjectival sense, for my money. It’s a wonderful word used in that manner. I’ll wager you know the phrase “one fell swoop,” meaning “a swift and deadly stroke” (and if you don’t know it, you can read about it here). Unsurprisingly, that phrase comes from Shakespeare. Macbeth, actually. But I digress. Continue reading “Superannuated Syntax: For Such Fell Purpose”

Notice anything different?

One of my G+ folks, a very talented indie author (the Outlaw King series and more) and cover designer (his own books and other folks’ books too) by the name of S. A. Hunt, surprised me today with a new header image. I love the subtlety of the word cloud behind the iconic “InterrobangBANG” graphic we’ve had on the blog since its inception.

Thanks, Sam!

G+ Collections News!

If you follow me over at G+, you might know that I’ve recently embraced the new Collections feature.

I’m gradually moving all of my relevant posts into appropriate collections, like “Broad Daylight Editing,” “GUMmy Stuff: Grammar, Usage, Mechanics,” and “Why I Edit (And Why You Might Hire Me).” Most of what I post over there has some relevance to some facet of editing, and I’m finding I have a LOT of content to sort through. It’s a good thing I made liberal use of hashtags like #GramrgednBasics, #MorningMechanics, and #RealEditorsProofBetter; that makes it pretty simple to find what I need to move.

I also have a GRAMMARGEDDON! collection, just for posts from here. I always posted a link there when I put up a new post here; now, that’s all automated thanks to Jetpack (the WP plugin) for self-hosted sites. Once I post this, I can go over there, find the post, and reshare it to the appropriate collection. Easy peasy, as they say.

I hope that folks will follow me here AND at G+. A lot of what I post there are one-offs that wouldn’t make good blog posts, to my way of thinking, because they’re not deep enough. Which reminds me: I need to create a #HomophoneHell collection! ::cackles::

All right, then. I’ve told you what I needed to tell you. I’ll see you around, I’m sure.