“Saller writes with wisdom and a great generosity of spirit. . . . An ideal complement to any style guide: practical, relentlessly supportive and full of ed-head laughs.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“An insider’s book to cure writers . . . while shoring up editors. . . . Good advice.”
—William Safire, New York Times
“Carol Fisher Saller is the mentor that every copyeditor dreams of.”
—Amy Einsohn, author of The Copyeditor’s Handbook
“Messrs. Strunk and White will find Saller to be good company.”
—Jennifer Baldarama, New York Times
As editor of The Chicago Manual of Style Q&A, I’m used to questions like these:
Q. A colleague of mine insists on using a comma before while.
Q. Our new publications director insists on adding unnecessary thats.
Q. A copy editor in my office insists on adding of after the word all.
Q. I have a colleague who insists on using “as well as” at the beginning of a sentence.
Q. One of my colleagues insists on using the format 5th February, 2005.
Are all copy editors locked in battle with their writers?
In The Subversive Copy Editor, I suggest becoming “subversive” in two ways: first, in overturning the image of the author as the enemy, and second, in remembering that sometimes it’s okay to break the rules if it benefits the reader.
In encouraging copy editors to resist compulsions, banish insecurities, and develop habits of carefulness, transparency, and flexibility, my mission is to show them not how to copyedit, but how to survive while doing so.