🔎 Today’s proofread has a political theme.
Dystopian fiction, written in 2017, but weirdly prescient.
It’s not a futuristic setting, rather a twisted version of our own, and so the words need to be styled in a recognised way. Part of this involves carefully checking spelling, hyphenation and capitalisation.
Dispatch box ❌ has become despatch box. ✅
Parliament has been given consistent capitalisation. ✅
Backbench/backbencher has been made consistent (i.e. non-hyphenated.) ✅
Other spots have related to the styling of media outlet names, i.e. are we using italics or inverted commas for The Guardian and Newsnight? (The author plumped for italics.)
Having professional software in my editor’s toolkit helps massively with things like this but computers don’t know everything.
There are a lot of words that seem to evade automated checks.
✅ Lackey, for instance, (incorrectly spelled as lacky❌ in the manuscript) would have flown below the radar had it not been for my eagle eyes.
And if I’d let automated software ‘fix’ all errors without checking the context, the manuscript would have ended up with all sorts of incorrect or ‘off’-register slips, particularly in dialogue.
Only 6500 words to go. I’m going to finish those once my office cools down. 😅☀️