Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Copy Edits du Jour

It's as enticing as the caramel topping on a candied apple.

(changed to)

It's as enticing as a caramel apple.

* * * *

Autumn is a great time to enjoy the region's ambient weather.

(changed to)

Autumn is a great time to enjoy the region's weather.

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LL Blackwell said...

Omit needless words!

(Sorry for quoting Strunk and White on your blog, but this is totally something folks don't think about enough, huh?)

June Casagrande said...

As much as I rank on Strunk and White, I must admit that this particular piece of advice can be very valuable. I spend so much of my copy-editing days making sentences more effective just by cutting out the lard. It's amazing. Here's another example from a story I edited today:

“September, October, November: Those months are the most beautiful of the time of year here,” agreed John Doe, saying that what stands out in his mind the most is: “the sunsets are tremendous.”

Why, oh why, did the writer think she needed “saying that what stands out in his mind most is”? Slashed that right out, I did.

Laura Payne said...

Regarding your first edit - I can see why the writer included the verbiage he or she did.

I do not find caramel apples enticing (I don't like apples), but I do love licking the caramel off of a candied apple.

Just saying.

By the way, I love your blog.

June Casagrande said...

You know, I actually wondered for a moment whether that's what she meant. Then I remembered: I am thy copy editor, I'll tell YOU what you mean. : )


Adrian Morgan said...

If you enjoy caramel apples and also enjoy gloating, then it may interest you that we don't have caramel apples in Australia. (We have toffee apples, though.)

Hi ... it's been a while since I've left a comment here, mostly because it's a while since you wrote anything that provoked a response. Meanwhile I've published some fiction over at http://ficly.com/ which often forces me to omit words (needless or otherwise). My username is Zerrakhi.

June Casagrande said...

I know I've been kinda lame here lately. I went through this weird no-motivation-to-do-nuthin' phase that I'm just now starting to pull out of (I hope).

Re toffee/caramel, I'm looking them up now and I'm a little confused. American Heritage says caramel is: "A smooth chewy candy made with sugar, butter, cream or milk, and flavoring." It says toffee is: "A hard, chewy candy made of brown sugar or molasses and butter."

Yet I bet that soft-vs.-hard distinction doesn't apply everywhere (if here).

I guess I always thought of "a toffee" as a caramel.

Adrian Morgan said...

If you look up "toffee apple" and "caramel apple" in Wikipedia, there are pictures. Toffee apple redirects to "candy apple" (but I can confirm it's a toffee apple in the picture) and apparently caramel apples are also called "taffy apples" (I have never seen a caramel apple before).

As for the definitions, there's nothing remotely chewy about the coating on a toffee apple. However, defining confectionaries would be a whole other topic.

June Casagrande said...

Aha! Now I get it.

Do you guys have those Kraft caramel candies in the stores? They're little individually wrapped cubes of chewy goodness? Well, there's usually a recipe on the bag (or at least there was when I was a kid) for how to make caramel apples. Here's a link with a photo: http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/caramel-dipped-apples-55497.aspx

As you know, we Americans have a long history of letting corporations define our culture. So maybe it's just the mighty hand of Kraft failing to extend its reach all the way across the globe.

Anyhoo, I DO prefer the caramel ones. Sooooo gooey.

Adrian Morgan said...

I'm not at all aware of any Kraft caramel candies.* However, because Kraft own Vegemite, they have their fingers very much in our culture as well.

* Which probably wouldn't be called candies here, but never mind that.

June Casagrande said...

I had no idea Kraft controlled Vegemite. It's a weird business world we live in.


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