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Good advice! Rules are so beaten into us that we forget we can make choices. I'm also surprised at how we can get caught up on style "rules." We forget that style rules aren't hard and fast and can vary greatly from one style guide to another. Some writers and editors have a difficult time with that variance.

Carol Kennedy

I think this is particularly good advice for editing on-screen. Back in the days of copyediting hard copy, if I changed my mind (or found a rule!) midway through the book, all I could do was page through everything I had already done, looking for the earlier instances I wanted to change. Today it's so much easier!

James Lockhart

I accept your advice here—I've actually been practicing it for years. But the issue for me is not whether there is a rule, but being able to justify my decision to customers who _believe_ there has to be a rule, and want to know it so they can feel reassured that someone else isn't going to call them onto the carpet over the editorial decision!

Carol Saller

James, I know what you mean. Sometimes is works to shift the burden of proof to the other person. Say "I'm confident there's no authoritative ruling on this; if you can show me one, I'll be happy to follow it." --Carol

Michael Koplow

Well said. But "perverts"? "Subverts" seems more consonant with the blog's theme (besides sounding less creepy [to me anyway!]!)!

George Ernsberger

Well, now this is going to seem like stalking, but . . . It seems to have nagged at some attenuated pseudopod of my poor old brain off and on all this while that there was something the matter with "loose," there, and God alone knows what caused it to snag today, but--there is (isn't there?). "Loose" is more or less synonymous with "free" or "set free" and not at all with "loosen."


I'm new to the blog, so if this post is out of line, please forgive me.

George, "loose" the verb means to unfasten or detach, the meaning meant here. "Loosen" on the other hand, means to make less tight.

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