Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

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tomyleft
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Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby tomyleft » June 15th, 2020, 2:00 pm

When I taught writing (fiction and nonfiction), which I did for over thirty years, I used to tell students, "Submitting a well-crafted piece of writing which is full of editing or proofreading errors is like applying for a job for which you are greatly qualified. You have a terrific resume, and then you show up for an interview wearing a jacket and pants that don't match, your shirt doesn't fit, and you have food stains on your tie. Why should you get hired? Correlatively, when you turn in a great piece of writing that LOOKS like crap, why should I read it?"

If I refused to read every piece of magic writing that contained editing errors, I would very seldom read ANYthing, including this magazine.

There is NO excuse for this.

I just bought Michael Rubinstein's "Coin Magic," and am happy to have it. Yesterday, when I first opened the book, I started the book's introduction, written by Bill Wells. In the second paragraph, Mr. Wells states that Dr. Rubenstein's "advocation" (sic) is coin magic...Sigh..."Advocation" is, generally, a legal term. He meant "avocation" (no "d"). NO one could catch this before the book was published? Why?

Before I name names of bad offenders (oh yes, I'm gonna do it), I want to mention two writers who escape the malaise: Jamy Ian Swiss and Michael Close. (Addendum: I haven't read much of Kainoa Harbottle's works, but as a lit. professor at Dartmouth, I'm pretty sure he knows how to proofread.)

Here are the worst: By category, mentalists are the very worst. This is a horrible irony, as mentalism depends on words to describe itself and its processes. As a mentalism performer myself, I've collected and read quite a bit of the genre. I've dropped some serious bucks on it. In this realm, there are standouts: Scott Creasey's "Minimalistic, Metaphysical, Mentalism" ($150) has an average of seven editing errors per page, but often there are more. (Also, why is there a comma after "Metaphysical" in the title?) Luke Jermay's "3510" is also notable, in that not only is the general editing bad, but at one point in the book, an effect he describes literally makes no sense--and I do mean that LITERALLY. The sentences do not make sense.

Almost anyone who self-publishes is at risk, in any brand of magic. Al Schneider is a great manipulator, but his book "Fast Track Coin Magic" is an editing mess (and the photos aren't good). If you are a smart, educated person and an excellent magician, how do you fail to make your printed works as clean as possible? Supported publications aren't any better. "The Linking Ring"often suffers from a number of editing/proofreading issues. I like Paul Romhany's "Vanish Magazine", but...

I have yelled about this where it counts, by the way. I've gotten on Magic, Inc. management about bad editing in their publications, as well as Joshua Jay--in person. (I kind of blindsided him at a dinner table a few years ago, which I should not have done.) Michael Close has also heard me rail on the subject, more than once.

Want to publish? Then learn the differences among CONTENT editing, COPY editing, and PROOFREADING. Then HIRE someone to fix your work before it goes out. Really.
Last edited by tomyleft on June 15th, 2020, 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 15th, 2020, 2:34 pm

We all do our best with the resources we have, which are always limited by budget and time.
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Gordon Meyer
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Gordon Meyer » June 15th, 2020, 2:50 pm

As a professional writer, I agree that the only way to help avoid these mistakes is to hire a professional editor. However, to Richard's point about resources, I would cynically add that the extra expenditure is hard to justify from a cost::benefit perspective. That is, the magic market as a whole clearly doesn't care that much. (And it's not just publications, the proliferation of horrible sound and lighting in videos also seems to have no detrimental impact on sales.) Sad, but true.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Ian Kendall » June 15th, 2020, 3:24 pm

With the proliferation of self publishing (and its ease), more people are writing technical prose with little experience (and it's one of the harder styles in which to write). I fear that most of these people wouldn't know who to ask to proof read their work, and others don't like the idea of someone seeing the information for free.

Editing and proof reading isn't an easy ride, either. You have to start with a good knowledge of the subject, and then read everything really carefully; sometimes it can take far too long to get through a paragraph if the original text is a mess (I think I once spent close to twenty minutes trying to decipher what was meant to be happening during a particular sequence by reverse engineering back from the following step...)

Editing or proof reading a typically sized magic book can take hours, and this is where Richard's point comes to the fore; it's often not economically viable to pay someone to do the work, so many edits in magic books are done as favours.

So yes, it's frustrating to see errors creeping into the more high profile books, but in my advancing age, I'm learning to gloss past them :)

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 15th, 2020, 3:28 pm

I must be honest, until I published CoinMagic it never occurred to me to have someone proofread a book. Geoff Latta said "Let me proof the book you dumbbell!" and he proofread that book.

But then it was Matt Field who stepped up to the plate starting with the Roth book in 1985. He saved me from looking dumb many times. Yay Matt! Now I have three people proofing (with my books and with Genii). Still, mistakes get through. Very tough.
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Bob Farmer » June 15th, 2020, 4:13 pm

Besides, Mike Close, books by Richard Kaufman and Stephen Minch are models of how to do it. Stephen has written a book on the subject, "On Writing Magic." Editors like Matt Field and Mike Vance have done marvelous work.

I have no idea what the differences are, "... among CONTENT editing, COPY editing, and PROOFREADING." However, I do know that using all caps looks ugly. What are the differences? Getting overly pedantic about magic writing may serve to overlook a really good trick by a really good magician.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Yehuda » June 15th, 2020, 4:33 pm

I’ve been bothered by this issue for a long time too, but never felt the need to rant about it. (3510 was a good example.) But now that it’s been brought up . . .

For the most part, as long as the content is accessible, I’m okay with it. It still is a bit troubling to have a beautifully produced book on your shelf, that has so many flaws in the grammar and spelling.

One recent book I was very impressed with was The Magic Rainbow. This is a massive book, and I noticed far less typographical errors in it than many books that are a tenth the size (LITERALLY). And let’s bear in mind that the book was translated to English. The sentence structure is a bit interesting at times, and the sentences are quite long, which may be due to the translation, but anyway may be an acceptable structure that I’m just not used to (certainly not in a magic book). Regardless, at least some people are doing things right.

Stephen Minch’s little ebook is good and I recommend it to anyone writing a magic book. However, he only addresses issues that are common and specific to magic (and there are many others I’d like to bring to his attention if he’d like to update the ebook). But if you don’t know how to write in general, and for sure if you can’t spell, Minch won’t help you. Nor should he.

Yehuda

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Dave Le Fevre » June 15th, 2020, 4:54 pm

I’m not a professional proof-reader, but I have an eye for catching errors. I've proof-read books, lecture notes, and websites for friends.

I bought something from a US conjuror. It had a few minor mistakes, so I told him. He was grateful, and asked me to check something else for him. I did so, and found some errors.

When he then produced a book (in which I was interested, and indeed to which I contributed slightly), I asked whether he’d like me to proof-read it. He was insistent that he already had sufficient proof-readers.

I bought it, and on reading it I happened to notice about twenty errors. He could have had twenty fewer errors had he accepted my offer. Oh well.

Someone in my magic club recently had a batch of business cards printed. They looked beautiful. I was the only person who spotted the major spelling mistake. (I almost didn’t see it – it was one of those typos that “looks right”.)

Others have mentioned here that Michael Close, Richard Kaufman, and Stephen Minch all seem to get it right. And I have to say that those are the three names which immediately come to mind for writing beautifully and clearly and (of course) correctly. They obviously are good proof-readers and obviously also use good proof-readers. I'm always amazed by the authors who decline to have their product proof-read. Why on earth wouldn't one want it proof-read?

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Q. Kumber » June 15th, 2020, 5:02 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong but I've always looked on editing as making sure the meaning is clear and flows, proofreading as making sure spelling and punctuation are correct.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Anthony Vinson » June 15th, 2020, 5:03 pm

In addition to the three already mentioned examples of excellent, relatively error-free, magic book writing, I would like to add Harry Lorayne and John Bannon.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Ian Kendall » June 15th, 2020, 6:26 pm

"and I noticed far less typographical errors"

*fewer.

I had to, given the subject...

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Yehuda » June 15th, 2020, 10:57 pm

Thanks, Ian. You are correct. My post was translated from Spanish ;). And I think forum posts get some leeway anyway.

Yehuda

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Sean Piper » June 16th, 2020, 1:47 am

* don't mention the Forte books.... ;)

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Dave Le Fevre » June 16th, 2020, 3:16 am

Ian Kendall wrote:"and I noticed far less typographical errors"

*fewer.

I had to, given the subject...
I'd noticed that one, but hadn't commented since I don't consider it an error. Because we don't have two words for more depending on whether or not the subject is countable, I never consider that less is an error.

But that's just my personal preference, based on logic. I'd have written fewer in that context, of course.

(My wife gets really annoyed by less for a countable subject, so I'm aware that it's just me.)

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Jon Elion » June 16th, 2020, 6:00 am

I am trying to make less grammatical errors. ;)

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby John Bowden » June 16th, 2020, 7:00 am

As someone who buys. reads and learns from books, I must add that content is far more important to me than a few misused or misspelled words.
I've recently purchased Coin Magic and The Forte books and found that while there are a few grammatical errors in them the content far outweighs these nit-picking flaws.

They are far easier to read than the pompous original post in this thread.

Where were you (collective nit-pickers) when the pages were blank?

Is it so much easier to criticise than to be creative.

No apology is being offered by me for any of the grammatical or spelling mistakes in this post.

Word of advice ............... sometimes it is important to be able to "get over" how wonderful you think you are.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Jack Shalom » June 16th, 2020, 7:39 am

Some models of publishing are more forgiving of typos than others; with print on demand at self-publishing services like Lulu, errors can be fairly easily corrected at no cost even after a book is first released to the public.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Matthew Field » June 16th, 2020, 8:31 am

I love magic books. I've got 2,000 or so here in my office. They are technical books, and accuracy and clarity are important, so my small efforts in that regard are worth it to me. I do try to recoup some money from the work I do so I can continue to make purchases. It's worth it to some authors and publishers, not worth it to others. That's fine by me. I understand the economics of small publications, and I know great editing will likely have only a small impact on sales, if any. So it's a matter of trying to make something be as good as possible. Who cares? I do.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Yehuda » June 16th, 2020, 12:23 pm

Continuing on what Matthew wrote, I think that’s part of what bothers me about it. If the fact that corrections won’t produce more sales is the only thing preventing an author from making those corrections, that troubles me. How about taking pride in your work and having the desire to present it nicely?

If someone just has some tricks they want to release, it’s so much easier and cheaper to film a DVD, or today it’s even easier to just do a download. If someone chooses to write a book, that is a bigger investment of time. I would assume that at least some of those people choose to do a book because having their idea produced in a book is more satisfying and aesthetically pleasing. So why then is the complete product not important to them?

Yehuda

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 16th, 2020, 1:32 pm

So, what is it to the reader, the bookshelf, or the coffee table? Some amusing reading for posterity? Instruction and direction sufficient to bring the items into successful performance?
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Tom Stone » June 16th, 2020, 1:55 pm

Yehuda wrote:Stephen Minch’s little ebook is good and I recommend it to anyone writing a magic book.


The most recent edition (March 2020) can be downloaded here:
https://wargmagic.com/shop/ebook/writing-stylebook/

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Yehuda » June 16th, 2020, 3:02 pm

Tom Stone wrote:
Yehuda wrote:Stephen Minch’s little ebook is good and I recommend it to anyone writing a magic book.


The most recent edition (March 2020) can be downloaded here:
https://wargmagic.com/shop/ebook/writing-stylebook/

Thanks, Tom. I’ve read that most recent one.

Btw if Stephen plans to continue updating it, would he be interested in suggestions for things to write about? I have a list of common problems that come up in writing a magic book, the same type of things he writes about in the e-book.

If he is interested, I can send it to him, or you.

Yehuda

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby AJM » June 16th, 2020, 3:54 pm

If a writer wishes others to read and appreciate their written work then they owe it to themselves, and their readership, to ensure, at the very least, that it is free of typographical errors.

This applies to all published works of course, more so when it comes to those magic books which cost several hundred dollars.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Tom Stone » June 16th, 2020, 4:13 pm

Yehuda wrote:Btw if Stephen plans to continue updating it, would he be interested in suggestions for things to write about? I have a list of common problems that come up in writing a magic book, the same type of things he writes about in the e-book.

Since Stephen is retired, it is unlikely that there will be frequent updates. But feel free to send it to me, and I'll see what can be done. :-)

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 16th, 2020, 4:27 pm

AJM wrote:If a writer wishes others to read and appreciate their written work then they owe it to themselves, and their readership, to ensure, at the very least, that it is free of typographical errors.

This applies to all published works of course, more so when it comes to those magic books which cost several hundred dollars.

Andrew


Yeah, if theirs one think that really brothers me its poor grandma, bad spel casting and inproper punctualization? But if anybody kneads a grate editorializer and profreeder, you can higher me. Just send me a AM. but I ain't cheep (oops maybe this should have been postmarked on the Correctors Marketplace:

OK, in all seriousness, I agree with Andrew and those of like mind who have posted on this thread. Every dollar the buyer expends for a book is "perfect" i.e. it contains 100 cents (or the equivalent thereof in currencies other than U.S.) Therefore, the buyer has a right to expect that the product will be something approaching perfect in return, at least in the areas of spelling, punctuation, grammar, and syntax, even if not 100% perfect, since we must allow for some human error factor. It's the fundamental principle of quid pro quo.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Dave Le Fevre » June 16th, 2020, 4:45 pm

John Bowden wrote:content is far more important to me than a few misused or misspelled words.
.
.
.
Is it so much easier to criticise than to be creative.
I agree completely.

Speaking for myself (and perhaps only for myself), creative and instructive writing is something that I find difficult, while eradicating obvious typos is so easy. And what's more, it's a task that can easily be farmed out to others.

So why not do it? If someone puts in all the creative work of writing a book, why don't they get others to check it for errors?

If I buy a book with useful content and with quite a few typos, I'm not disappointed by my purchase. Merely surprised that the author didn't get anybody to proof-read it. The proof-reading is the easy bit.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 16th, 2020, 5:27 pm

Eliminating all typographical errors in an instructional magic book is NOT easy. It's extremely difficult. That's the problem!

And, Tom, I don't believe Stephen Minch is retired because I know he is working right now.
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Richard Hatch » June 16th, 2020, 11:05 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:I fear that most of these people wouldn't know who to ask to proof read their work, and others don't like the idea of someone seeing the information for free.


Shouldn't that be "... wouldn't know whom to ask..."?

Ian Kendall wrote:I had to, given the subject...
:)

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Dave Le Fevre » June 17th, 2020, 4:11 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Eliminating all typographical errors in an instructional magic book is NOT easy
That's presumably true of any book. I've read so many novels, magic books, etc which have been perfect … and then I happen to notice a typo. And it doesn't worry me in the slightest - why should it? But if a book is riddled with typos, then that's a different matter.

My simplistic viewpoint is that proof-reading is a filter, and in many circumstances it's free. So why not apply several such filters?

Many years ago, Tim in my magic club did a lecture that he was going to do at other clubs. His lecture notes were fairly good but had some errors.

Had they been perfect, I’d have said nothing. Had they been frightful, I’d have said nothing. But since he was obviously aiming for good quality notes, I asked him if he’d like me to proof-read them for him.

“But <name withheld> already proof read-them.”
“And she’s missed some things. Had I proof-read them instead of her, I might have missed some things that she caught and caught some things that she missed.”

So I proof-read them for him. Which upset her. Wouldn’t have upset me had our roles been reversed - I'd have been glad that she'd caught anything that I'd missed.

And as someone who has quite a few books by Richard Kaufman, I appreciate that proof-reading to the level that his books have had doesn't come free.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Ian Kendall » June 17th, 2020, 7:28 am

Ian Kendall wrote:
I fear that most of these people wouldn't know who to ask to proof read their work, and others don't like the idea of someone seeing the information for free.


Shouldn't that be "... wouldn't know whom to ask..."?

Ian Kendall wrote:
I had to, given the subject...
:)


Not in this case. In the sentence above, 'who' is the subject of the verb 'to proof read', so that's the correct usage. 'Whom' is used as a object to a verb, or with a preposition.

For example, 'who did I give my book to?' becomes 'to whom did I give my book?', because we all know that ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put (to paraphrase Churchill for comic effect...)

/grammar geek.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Q. Kumber » June 17th, 2020, 8:46 am

Even with the best intentions it is, as Richard said, difficult to eliminate all errors. As John Bowden said the content is most important but that does not excuse promiscuous illiteracy and the lack of duty of care to the reader. You expect a magician to have rehearsed his act and I expect an author to check his or her work before publishing it. The odd error here or there is insignificant, multiple errors per page isn't.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 17th, 2020, 10:11 am

I'm reading Hobbes' Leviathan and finding sentences where the word we is spelled both as wee and we. Magic literature is haunted by other prosaic hobgoblins. In Scot's Discoverie the paddle trick with three holes and a toothpick is glossed over in a sentence. In Hocus Pocus Jr the stack of coins through the table is half described, half presented, and the prop logistics glossed over. The item in Bobo's using a die and a toothpick with the stack of coins updates the effect though adds prop management problems.

An instructional text is not the same as transcribed recording of a lecture, especially as introduction to a practical subject matter. Nor would a script used when presenting examples of the material suffice. Or a scholarly review of where the material fits in our literature. Each have their place. In magic we have an odd sense of idealized audience perspective and sometimes omit practical concerns for the props before, during, and after performance.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Bill Mullins » June 17th, 2020, 12:13 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:
Ian Kendall wrote:
I fear that most of these people wouldn't know who to ask to proof read their work,


In the sentence above, 'who' is the subject of the verb 'to proof read', so that's the correct usage.
/grammar geek.

Disagree.
The core of the sentence is "people wouldn't know who". Subject = "people", verb = "wouldn't know", object of the verb = who (should be whom).

The phrase "to proof read" is an infinitive form of the verb "read", and infinitive forms don't take objects.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Q. Kumber » June 17th, 2020, 1:01 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Ian Kendall wrote:
Ian Kendall wrote:
I fear that most of these people wouldn't know who to ask to proof read their work,


In the sentence above, 'who' is the subject of the verb 'to proof read', so that's the correct usage.
/grammar geek.

Disagree.
The core of the sentence is "people wouldn't know who". Subject = "people", verb = "wouldn't know", object of the verb = who (should be whom).

The phrase "to proof read" is an infinitive form of the verb "read", and infinitive forms don't take objects.


I think Bill is looking for a job as a proofreader. :-)

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 17th, 2020, 1:39 pm

Sentence diagrams :) and Calder's mobiles.
|
whom to ask / who would know | who (does/did/would) proofread / whom I fear

Is diverting the reader's flow of attention to find a referenced illustration considered a grammar error? For the editor or publisher?

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Edwin Corrie » June 17th, 2020, 1:52 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Ian Kendall wrote:
Ian Kendall wrote:
I fear that most of these people wouldn't know who to ask to proof read their work,


In the sentence above, 'who' is the subject of the verb 'to proof read', so that's the correct usage.
/grammar geek.

Disagree.
The core of the sentence is "people wouldn't know who". Subject = "people", verb = "wouldn't know", object of the verb = who (should be whom).

The phrase "to proof read" is an infinitive form of the verb "read", and infinitive forms don't take objects.


Sorry, couldn't resist...

I fear that most of these people wouldn't know who to ask to proof read their work.
I fear that most of these people wouldn't know whom to ask to proof read their work.

Whom do they ask?
They ask him to proof read their work.
They know whom to ask.
(formal/written)

Who do they ask?
They ask him to proof read their work.
They know who to ask.
(informal/spoken)

“Who” is the implicit subject of “to proof read”, but the object of “to ask”.
“They ask (verb) him (object of “ask”) to proof read (verb) their work (object of “proof read”)”.
The object of “know” is the whole phrase “who to ask to proof read their work”.

Infinitives can take direct objects. If you say “I want to learn the Zarrow shuffle”, then “the Zarrow shuffle” is the object of “to learn”.

Both the versions of Ian’s sentence (with “who” and with “whom”) are perfectly fine from a grammatical point of view. It’s a matter of register – the first is more casual, the second more formal. In casual speech and informal writing, “whom” is felt to be increasingly old-fashioned in many (not all) contexts, and is giving way to “who”. Most magic books are semi-formal, and they should be written clearly and carefully, but the tone is often fairly casual (e.g. using contractions like "don't").

Links for anyone who’s still with me and is interested (probably not many):

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/mechanics/gerunds_participles_and_infinitives/infinitives.html

https://studyres.com/doc/14361676/lesson-36--infinitive-phrases

McKitterick
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby McKitterick » June 17th, 2020, 2:03 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:
Ian Kendall wrote:
I fear that most of these people wouldn't know who to ask to proof read their work, and others don't like the idea of someone seeing the information for free.


Shouldn't that be "... wouldn't know whom to ask..."?

Ian Kendall wrote:
I had to, given the subject...
:)


Not in this case. In the sentence above, 'who' is the subject of the verb 'to proof read', so that's the correct usage. 'Whom' is used as a object to a verb, or with a preposition.

For example, 'who did I give my book to?' becomes 'to whom did I give my book?', because we all know that ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put (to paraphrase Churchill for comic effect...)

/grammar geek.


This is really getting interesting!

At first I disagreed with Ian, thinking that his clause "who to ask to proofread their work" was the object of the verb phrase "wouldn't know", thus requiring the use of "whom" rather than "who". I went to Dreyer's English for a refresher and was somewhat surprised to find out that there's an old saying in the grammar business, "The relative pronoun is the subject of the following verb, not the object of the preceding preposition or verb."

That brings us to a situation where "who" is connected to "to ask" ("ask" being the relevant verb in that clause as "who" refers not to a person that proofreads, but to a person who knows whom to ask to proofread) and had me changing my mind and agreeing with Ian's use of the subjective pronoun "who".

But ... I then had a look at Garner's Modern English Usage. In discussing the issue at hand it says, "While the subject of a finite verb is nominative (I know she is good), the subject of an infinitive is in the objective case (I know her to be good). The same is true of who and whom."

So ... for the time being ... I'm back to disagreeing with Ian. For the record though, I should include a disclaimer: I'm not a professional copy editor. Use this information at your own risk.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Bill Mullins » June 17th, 2020, 2:11 pm

My son is going in to 8th grade next year, and has never diagrammed a sentence. I did it in 5th grade. And I didn't really learn how English is structured until I studied German in high school.

The sentence under discussion is pretty complicated (even though all us native English speakers understand exactly what is meant), and I wouldn't be surprised if professional grammarians disagreed on the details.

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chetday
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby chetday » June 17th, 2020, 3:17 pm

I revised my third novel off and on for over twenty years before finally putting together a Kindle version. I've been through that book, page by page, at least thirty times, and I'd bet a dime to a donut that if I read it again today I'd find at least one typo that I'd missed. It really is virtually impossible to catch every error by oneself. And having three eagle-eyed proofreading friends still isn't a guarantee for 100% clean copy. Hiring a professional is a fine idea, but, as Richard pointed out, the return on investment where books are concerned is a haphazard thing at best, especially these daze of info overload.

I should also add that my first two novels, which were published by Simon & Schuster's paperback division, each contained a typo or two that were missed by the company's editors and by yours truly in the galley proofs.

With all that said, as much as I dislike finding typos and other errors while reading magic books, I'm quite forgiving for this genre because so many works in the field are labors of love by non-professional writers with limited budgets. If the magic in a book rolls my socks down and makes me think "Wow," then any misspellings, comma splices, misplaced modifiers, and other goofs just don't matter that much to me.

Jonathan Townsend
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parsing not parsimony

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 17th, 2020, 3:31 pm

I fear
that (
most (of these people (wouldn't know (who to ask (to proof read their work)))),
and
others ( don't like ( the idea of (someone seeing the information for free)))
).


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