Monday, December 13, 2010

Fascinated by the process

In the midst of everything else (getting ready for the holidays, grading, working on the MLA paper), I've been trying to respond to the copyeditor's queries for an article that will be coming out. The process has gone sort of like this.

Let's say that the article is on an obscure person who roomed with a famous 1950s movie star whose initials are MM and that OP later wrote a memoir about it. Here are some of the kinds of questions I've been answering.

1. On p. 15, line 2, you observe that women in the 1950s often wore red polish on their fingernails and toenails. Can you cite a statistic for this and add the source to your bibliography?

2. Can you confirm that Obscure Person indeed painted her toes with Midnight Red on August 10, 1955? What is the source for this?

3. Can you provide a source that demonstrates that Midnight Red was in fact a color used by Revlon in 1955?

4. Can you provide the birth and death dates for Obscure Person's nail technician?

Now, tracking this all down takes a whole lot of time that I don't have right now. On the other hand, I'm grateful for all the attention to detail because (1) I should have caught this the first time around; (2) someone might be interested; and (3) it makes me feel as though I'm writing for The New Yorker with its famed fact-checking.


Sisyphus said...

I can!!!

(and I just sent back the most annoying editing comments ever! The editor wanted me to add a bunch of references I mentioned in my essay that were already in my works cited. Bleah.)

undine said...

Good! (And congrats on the essay.)