Wednesday, July 19, 2006

And yes I call myslef a ediotr

Update 1 - Blogs blocked
All the blocked blogspot sites can still be accessed by people in India via The new blog url will be if the original url was
For example, the bar can be accessed at if is blocked. Alternatively, you can use

So if you're getting distress messages from blog-readers in India who can't access your blog, spread the message, tell your buddies about and, or leave a comment on their blogs (which I presume will go to their email even if they can't access their own blogs).

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Samachar samaapt hue. Now I can get back to my new post.

A colleague mentioned something very interesting today.

When you're an editor, you tend to look at everything around you with an editor's eye. Especially that of a copy-editor.

When I joined my company as an assistant editor, my jobscope involved a lot of copy-editing -- language, grammar, tenses, style, consistency, punctuation, etc. etc. And that kinda spilled over into everything else. I would be horrified to see things in my daily life which I wouldn't have noticed (or cared about) earlier. I spotted 'errors' in newspaper articles, emails, posters, outdoor advertisements, everything!

"Gosh! Double space between the two words!"

"Why is there a space before the full stop?"

"Oh look, they spelt out the number 10 in the first paragraph and wrote it as a number in the last paragraph. How inconsistent!"

"Drink milk 'everyday'?? Sheesh, there should be a space between 'every' and 'day'!"

"Hey there are opening quotes but no closing quotes!"

"There should be a comma here! The meaning is different without the comma!"

"This should not be a hyphen! This should be an 'em-dash'!"

Thankfully, I no longer have this annoying habit. It could be because my jobscope is no longer what it used to be. As a senior editor, my job involves more of conceptualisation, strategising, talking to users, market research, identifying new book ideas, training, drafting frameworks and content editing than copy-editing. I leave the copy-editing nitty-gritties to my project editors.

But there is one copy-editing tip that I learnt years ago, but follow even now.

When I was undergoing copy-editing training, the trainer gave a tip that I found exceptionally useful. She suggested that while copy-editing a manuscript, we place a ruler under each line as we read it. That helps us concentrate better because we're not distracted by what comes after that line, and so it helps us look at that particular line with a sharper eye.

It was an excellent tip, and I always follow it, even now, especially when I am checking the final proofs of my editors' work.

But I also find the tip to be useful for another very important reason.

It gives me the ability to differentiate between simply reading something and reading as an editor.

I know that when I put a ruler under a line, I'm sub-consciously preparing myself to read it in a different way. I am not gonna read it like I read a newspaper or a magazine or a blog, I am gonna read it to ensure that it is clear, concise and error-free. It is very important for editors to do this differentiation because the nature of our job is so similar to what we do outside of work, all the time. We're always reading something or the other. If I started reading everything with an imaginary ruler under it, I would go bonkers. I would have to quit my job and seek counselling. And I'd probably be copy-editing my counseller's namecard as I wait for my session.

So I made a rule -- when the ruler is off, I don't see the typos, I don't see the grammar errors, I just read the stuff like everyone else.

Once in a while, I get comments on my blog that go somewhat like "And you call yourself an editor?" or start off with a sarcastic "Miss editor, why don't you... blah blah..." But it doesn't affect me. Because this is a blog, not an editorial in a daily. And I am proud of it, complete with all its typos, grammar boo-boos, all its little imperfections.

My blog contains my thoughts, which often come tumbling out in one big mess and that's how I will put them up. I will not look out for grammar and punctuation and spacing and spelling and sense when I blog. Of course, before hitting 'Publish', I read it once just to make sure it represents in a fair manner what I wanted to write. But I refuse to put a ruler against my monitor.

Because this is not an editor's blog.

This is just the blog of someone who does editorial work from 8:15 am to 6:03 pm five days a week.

And this doesn't hold for editors only. I have always followed the policy of "Do not let your personal life interfere with your professional life. And oh, do not let your professional life interfere with your personal life either."

In fact, I vote for a livelier world -- a world where a doctor faints at the sight of blood when he cuts himself shaving, where an electrical engineer can't figure out why his radio set is not working, where an artist helps his son with his art homework and the son flunks, where a carpenter has a wobbly dining table in his house, where a mathematician can't divide a 140-dollar dinner bill among his three friends and himself, where a dietician is found munching on a packet of potato chips every night while watching her favourite soap, where a lawyer is rendered speechless by his wife, where a banker can't manage her home expenses, where a negotiator can't peel his son off the X-box and get him to finish his homework,
where a sharpshooter can't aim with a water pistol, where a cricketer can't catch a saucepan that his wife throws at him in anger.

A world where no one (including myself) cares whether each of my posts is 'well-edited' or not.

I blog at home, you see.

And I don't like to bring work home.


Anonymous said...

Haha.. Some thing VERY VERY GOOD..
Though I'm not in a RACE!.. Me First!!!! GOLD..
Sayesha.. It's nice post..

sandy said...

I've been reading for some time quietly, but today the thought of winning silver forced me to comment!

Its hard not to think of work at home especially when you have a problem in hand. I think of solutions at craziest of places!

Anyway u've a nice blog..

pardon any typos editor :)

Princesse said...

very nicely expressed! :).. I concur.

(*silver*) :P

Princesse said...

BRONzE! Stilllllllll haapppyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy :D

Macho Girl said...

I hate it when people laugh at me coz I am a life science student and still freak out at the sight of big insects in my room :|

Work ends at 6:03??? Why 6:03 of all things???

oxymoron said...

good one! a world with no work outside work! dont take personal probs to work and don't get work issues to life after 6:03pm! correct 'Miss Editor'? -:D

//There should be a comma here! The meaning is different without the comma!
reminds me of a very interesting line which changes meaning to suit both the sexes, based on the position of the comma!

Woman, without her man, is incomplete!
Woman, without her, man is incomplete!

No prizes for guessing which one the males like and which one females! just a comma!!!

Maverick said...

I would have to quit my job and seek counselling. And I'd probably be copy-editing my counseller's namecard as I wait for my session


Anonymous said...

Eight!!!!!!!!!!!!(Broken into top ten)

Yes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Flexing muscles)

Sakshi said...

Consistently in the Top 10... Yeah..
Maybe I should start sending you my thesis before my boss covers it in red marks for puntuation...

Iday said...

//an electrical engineer can't figure out why his radio set is not working
I surrender :D

Sudeep said...

I dont like when ppl use past tense with did.. anyways

6:03.. kya timing hain

liked the livlier world para..

I blog at home, you see

Anonymous said...

Sash - you are absolutely correct about not interfering your editorial life with your personal life. If you did that, this blog would have been an English class since its origin :) (which its not)

- Anjaan Ladka

Duhita said...

8.15am - 6.03pm? hmmm....whats the mathematics behind that? And you must live really close to work to be able to post so soon:)

And so true!!! Why do ppl expect engineers to be able to fix every single problem at home?!?!?!

Inder said...

let me guess... waiting time for your bus/train would be minimum if you left your office by 6:03 pm. is it right?

The Inquisitive Akka said...

Gosh - so true! I went bonkers with one thesis, your job must be a millionfold tougher! :)
How many punctuation errors have I made Ms Editor??:)

Dev said...

Ppl seem to be interested more in why 6.03 then the post contents... :P
It's coz Ms Editor bhai wants it that way, wokay all?
(sorry for missin the punctuation mark after Ms. Maaf kardena bhai... galti se mishtake ho gaya...)

ggop said...

On a related note you may reading like "Far from the Madding Gerund" by Mark Lieberman and Geoff Pullum.

Rebellion said...

Wow Sayesha,

That was another grrr8 post! Agree with every word you say on that! Work & personal life should be kept separate, no doubts about it and besides, you blog for your own self, not for others to judge you swthrt.. Right? :)

Besides, I loved your 'livelier world' para.. Awesome thoughts gurl.. Great going.. Keep it up :)

Take care,

Shreemoyee said...

The post reminds me of a joke, which I am pasting from Wiki,

" A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.

"Why?" asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

"Well, I'm a panda," he says at the door. "Look it up."

The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. "Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."

There is a book with a similar name. "Eats, Shoots, leaves"

Janefield said...

Being an editor meself, I am plagued by 'editing' off work too. Why work? I was editing stuff even BEFORE I became a professional editor!! Probably from the days when mom made alphabet soup when I was just a kid, and I found spelling mistakes in my soup *cheeky grin*

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Sayesha, beautiful post... that paragraph about your livelier world was so much nice to read and live through.

Why aren't any typos in your post, BTW?? :D

Sayesha said...

Hahahaha! Tuney post bhi padha kya?? I think not :D

Welcome to Sayeshaz! And yes, sometimes I do get ideas for work when I'm at home, but I never consciously do so. :)

Thanks! :)

#Macho Girl,
Hahaha! I can totally understand! :D
About the 6:03... ah... long story... long long ago, saturdays used to be working days (half) in my company... they wanted to abolish it so they took the saturday hours and divided it among the five days of the week. They were left with 15 minutes, so they added 3 minutes to each day! :O Ridiculous I know, but it makes my company so unique! :P

Hahahaha! :D


Hahahaha! I was ROTFLing at the (Flexing muscles) bit! :D Really needs muscles to make it to the top ten eh? ;)

Hahaha! Boss is particular about punctuation, eh? :P Yeah yeah, feel free to send it to me for copy-editing... perhaps looking at that I will get inspired to work harder on my thesis! :P


//I dont like when ppl use past tense with did..

Hahaha! I can't stand it too... but now I'm trying to ignore it when I see it... along with other stuff that used to annoy the hell outta me like 'common' instead of 'come on' and 'off course' instead of 'of course'. :D

//I blog at home, you see

You blog from office na? :D

#Anjaan Ladka,
Thanks :) I'm glad it's not an English class! :O
ps: Still can't get over your nick... Anonymous anjaan ladka... hehehe... maybe you should use the 'Other' function instead of 'Anonymous'? :P

The 6:03 story is in my reply to Macho Girl above. I usually blog around 10 in the night just before going to bed. Wednesdays are an exception cos I go to university to meet my prof, so I leave work early. If I'm done quickly, I can blog early :)

//Why do ppl expect engineers to be able to fix every single problem at home?!?!?!

Heheheh... because they themselves can't? :P

Good try, but wrong! :D

// How many punctuation errors have I made Ms Editor??:)

Hahahaha! Just one. There should have been a comma after 'made'. ;)
ps: See how annoying this is? :P

Hahahaha! Arre nahin yaar, in some countries (e.g. Singapore), Ms is written without the dot, so it's okay :D
ps: And I agree, it was a galti se mishtake - to mention the 6:03... post ka focus hi hilela hai! :D

Will check it up, thanks! :)

Thanks! :)

Yes I have read the book. :)

#The Chosen One,
Spelling mistakes in alphabet soup! Hahaha! I pity your Mom! :D

Thanks! :)

//Why aren't any typos in your post, BTW?? :D

The title of my post has all the typos you want, my friend. Enjoy! :D

Searching for Virdi said...

where is Virdi!?? conspicuously missing!

Raam Pyari said...

dekh bahin.....
hamar govt nee chahati ki hum tohar bilaag padhe...
lekin akhir bahin bahin ka pyaar hai
sab koh dhokha deh karr hum aa gaye !!!!!!!

abhi abhi 2 posts padhi...waah! waah!!
and if you think of closing the bilaag..i shall file a public petition in court !

The Inquisitive Akka said...

Comma noted your honour! :)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

that role of the editor's-eye. must be so frustrating! and having been on the other side, believe-you-me, the actions aren't very well-received either! ;)


accha, but i have a ismall kushtan.
doesn't it sometimes become second nature to you, to re-read or correct spellos/typos in your posts? if/when that happens, do you resist from doing it, or do you fix it?

just curious.

Adnan Siddiqi said...

Hey ayesha!

No need of thanks.Its all about humanity.I am glad I could be helpful for you.

There is another way to access longer blogspot URLs.

For instance

is orignal blogspot URL
the new URL will be:

simlarly could be written as

Hope it helps

The Inquisitive Akka said...

Yahoo!! Don't need pkblogs anymore, just have to type xyz.blogspot and voila! I hope everyone else is able to do the same!

Venky said...

I first you, second you and third the end of the day if I can utter some nonsense (both grammatically and content wise) but if others can make clear sense out of it, you know what I am doing??? I am communicating or miscommunicating if you prefer getting into technicalities :D!!! c now that i have uttered some nonsense it is up to sash to make sense out of it :).

ok jokes apart, i care two hoots abt proper grammar in a blog (I have adopted this stance after i realized that I didnt know much abt grammar). So Sash keep blogging and personally i wudnt even realize when u made a grammatical mistake :)

Sayesha said...

#Searching for Virdi,
Hahaha! Virdi praji is a bit busy growing dadhi for his shaadi :P

#Raam Pyari,
Arre nahin bahinnnn... abhi band karne ka sawaale nahin uthta :D

Hehehehehe. You may wanna kill me now because there should have been a comma after 'noted'. Hehehehe! :P Okay, let's stop this AT ONCE! :D

#Ipanema Gal,
Haha! Good kushtan. If I spot a typo or any other error, I will correct it at once. But I don't scrutinise my post for errors :P

Welcome to Sayeshaz! :)

//simlarly could be written as

Actually you don't even need the full sayesha url after Just will do :)

Awesome stuff, this pkblogs! Love it! You guys rock! :)

Awesome news!! Round of drinks for everyone! :D

Thanks thanks! :)

// i wudnt even realize when u made a grammatical mistake

Hahaha! Even I don't realise most of the time! :D

Raj said...

Hey, first let me clarify that it wasn't me who wrote the first comment. Must have been some other Raj.

And one doesn't really have to be copy-editor to notice typos, extra spaces and missing commas. I notice all of that and also try not to make such errors while writing a post. I'm generally less careful while commenting.

But I agree that a personal blog should not be seen as a blog of a doctor, editor and all. A personal blog by definition is not tied up to a profession :)

Macho Girl said...

a very unique company indeed!!! Mighty interesting story :P

Anonymous said...

Eureka! I did the math and it worked out right!! This is what I deduced - the usual schedule is 8 hours a day M-F and 4 hours on Saturday, making 44 hours a week. This extra 4 hours divided over M-F adds 48 minutes to the workinghous. So that is 8 hours and 48 minutes of work a day + 1 hour lunch break.

Earlier it was a 9:00 am to 6:00 pm job, but to accomodate the 48 minutes, they pushed the start 45 minutes earlier, and the end 3 minutes later. Right? Yes, I know I am a genius, thanks!! ;))

The Inquisitive Akka said...

Noted, noted, noted!! :)

Sayesha said...

Ah Raj Original is here! :)

//I agree that a personal blog should not be seen as a blog of a doctor, editor and all.

If only some of the commentators were as wise as you :)

#Macho Girl,
Yeah, it's a great conversation-starter! :D

Beautiful, simply beautiful! I'm impressed!

Actually it was 8:30 am to 5:30 pm but that's immaterial, your solution is what matters. Pray identify yourself, o great genius, so I can give you proper credit for taking the time to do the math! :)

You're such a sport! :) I hereby promise not to do this to you again! :P

Rohit Talwar said...

How true! My Boss alwasys says the same :P

And, my Boss in HT gave me the same tip when I was interning!

Bhaarat said...

What is diff between hyphen and 'em-dash'.

Count me in for the livlier world.

Abhishek said...

this ban is ridiculous

Sayesha said...

Great, it's a great tip! :)

Ok since I am explaining, might as well explain all three (yes, there are three!)

1. A hyphen is shorter and is used to join words together, such as 'ice-cream'.

2. An n-dash is slightly longer than a hyphen and is used to indicate ranges, such as '3-4 hours'.

3. An m-dash is the longest, used to break a sentence, more like a parenthetical punctuation. E.g. 'My friend - the one who lives in India - sent me this'.

I can't show you the actual dashes here because my PC keyboard can't produce the symbols. But you can do it on a Mac. Option+Hyphen produces an n-dash and Option+Shift+Hyphen produces an m-dash.

Sometimes, MS word will convert two consecutive hyphens into an n-dash, but at times it won't. Quite annoying. :P

And they're called so because an n-dash is as long as the width of the letter 'N' and an m-dash is as long as the width of the letter 'M'.

Offo enough gyan for today! Sash thak gayi! :D

//Count me in for the livlier world.

Haha! Sure sure, welcome! So what can't you do at home? :D

Arre yaar... how long will they ban... this country is full of geeks, programmers and hackers... every block can be unblocked in five seconds flat. :D

Lalit Singh said...

sayesha tai
post nahi padha
very busy in india... enjoying saddi dilli n maa-ke-haath-ka-khana
hope u r having a good time...

Sayesha said...

Hiii! Pahunch gaye India sahi-salaamat? Enjoy loads! And meri taraf se pachaas pani puris kha lena please? :) Talk to you when you have time! :)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

awesome yaar! thanks! today i'm going to show off my new-(hyphen)found knowledge about hyphen, m-dash and n-dash!

Sudeep said...

no.. cant coz pics cant be uploaded frm here

kel tamashek said...

aye! (considering that my excuse for pushing doors clearly marked 'pull' is that i'm off work and therefore don't read things carefully)

Kumar Chetan said...

oh so u r also copying my style of blogging full of grammatical misstakes and also typos. ARRGGHHHH. No one respects Intelectual Property Rights. Anyway you can copy me. I also do typose but only wen am typing @ 45WPM

Sayesha said...

#Ipanema Gal,
Watch my words, the dashes will drive you nuts! :D

Har post par pic hona zaroori hai kya? Narcissist! :P

#Kel Tamashek,
Hahahaha! I do the door thing too! Every time! :|

Oye, I copied you?? You copied me! Muahahaaha! :D

Apy said...

hahaha.. good one...

Sudeep said...

mera pic nahi upload karta hu..

Snowbeak said...

haha, interesting that the lawyer, engineer and mathematician are all men but the dietician is female.

Sayesha said...

Thanks :)

Achha baba ab emotional mat ho ja tu :)

Hahahaha! What an observation! Hahaha! :D

Kumar Chetan said...

dekh lo
U copied me
U copied my evil laaf
Keep laafing
daant nikalte raho

Raju Bathija said...

Very amusing post, I like the livelier world part very much :).
I also do read the post before hitting the publish button, but on second reading spot more mistakes.

Sayesha said...

Yeh lo! --> :D

Hehehe... sometimes I spot mistakes in posts that I wrote months ago... if I don't feel too lazy, I correct them. :P

Teja Shreyus said...

the livelier para was extra-ordinary ,,,,,,,,, I swear this is the best thing I had read ever.

Anonymous said...


Arun said...


Einsteinium (or perhaps a yet to be discovered element!)