Facebook is full of photos of ‘Ooh-er Matron!’ language slip-ups, and I have spent many a fun evening with a red pen and the local newspaper, circling special offers for pea’s and bean’s [sic], and Back to School ‘stationary’.
Little did I realise that this pedantry is a valuable skill. My Typo Radar has undoubtedly saved oodles of money – as well as time – when preparing materials for publication, for the many charities I have worked for over the years.
After a recent (and very satisfying) red-pen splurge, I decided to bite the bullet (rather than just the eraser on the end of my pencil) and apply to join the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. I was so pleased when they accepted me as an Associate Subscriber. I shall now happily while away the long winter evenings by the fire with lots of background reading, and online training. In spring, I plan to emerge, bleary-eyed and pale-skinned, as a nascent editor.
The Society aims to uphold editorial excellence, and provides training, support and accreditation for proofreaders and editors. It produces a free online periodical for members ‘Editing Matters’, and hosts a number of valuable online services, not the least of which is the Members’ Area, full of helpful information and forums.
Their introductory publications are available to purchase in either hard copy or to download, which is super-useful for people living outside the UK, like myself. The local SfEP branch is in Belfast, chaired by the talented Averill Buchanan, who recently won the Judith Butcher Award for her services to the Society.