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Excellent guidelines, Carol. I've been trying to say just that with some of my copyediting students. Now I'll just send them here!

Patricia Boyd

I have been guilty of TMAQs (too many author queries). Not that long ago, I thought I was being preemptive by citing a CMOS rule for a change that I was making repeatedly in a manuscript. I got a note back from the author saying something like "Fine with the changes, but spare me the lecture." I still cringe when I think about it. Live and learn.

On the other hand, some authors (often first-timers) seem thrilled to see lots of comments on their manuscript, equating comments with attention. These authors are the exception, though.

I agree on avoiding the repetitive comments, which are so easy with today's technology. One query at first occurrence, and then do the global search and replace later. And let the author know that you'll fix globally. If it's not a specific, easily searchable term in question, I might highlight the various phrases or underline them for ease in finding later.

Carol Saller

Ouch, Patricia--but I guess that's one of the ways we learn . . .

Thanks, Erin--but I seriously doubt that you need my help. I'm sure I could learn a lot in one of your classes!

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