A funny note on style sheets

I’ve always thought it amazing how a copyeditor’s style sheet can give you a feel for the book as a whole, just from the list of words. Here, for instance, are some of the “B” words from my recent copyedit of Josh Conviser’s Echelon:

baby-perfect (adj)
baby-soft (after n)
bad-ass
baht (s, pl)
balls on
bergs
big-ass (adj)
Bigfoot
big-time
biocrete
biokill
bioware
biz suit
blood-flushed
body-sock
bots
breakups
Bullet, the
Bushido

Amazing, isn’t it, how you can pick up the flavor of the text from that little list? :-) I love it.

Author Pamela Ribon, of Why Girls Are Weird fame, has noticed the same thing with the style sheet for her most recent novel, and talks about it here.

7 thoughts on “A funny note on style sheets”

  1. Oh, there’s a copyediting topic I can post on! In short, the style sheet lists the characters, place names, and treatment of individual words in a manuscript. It also contains the specific grammatical styles the copyeditor used in editing (for instance, whether or not a serial comma was used).

    I’ll go into it in more depth sometime soon, though!

  2. You’ll have to wait like everyone else, I guess. :-)

    That’s one of my favorite things about being a copyeditor, as I’ve never considered myself a particularly patient sort. ;-)

  3. Perhaps I’m completely misremembering something I read once, but would you include in this upcoming post whether or not it is something the author can help the copyeditor with by, say, copying their story’s dictionary from Word? I imagine it would cut down on query time, and I’m probably just exposing my ignorance by even asking since it may already be common practice.

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