I attended (and spoke at) the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) annual conference in St Petersburg, Florida in March. I loved the Tampa/St Pete area!
Just for my records, here are the sessions I attended, with a brief summary for each of them.
Thursday March 23
- Quick fixes you may have forgotten about (Merrill Perlman): A nice refresher of things that you can overlook when editing. Merrill is a funny, engaging speaker.
- Catch as catch can (John Russial): Math!! Especially the difference between percentage and percentage point increases/decreases. Valuable.
- Professional Etiquette: Navigate networking without making enemies (Christina Frey, Sarah Grey, Barbie Halaby, Heather Saunders): Very professionally presented, with seamless segues between members of the panel. Lots of content and great ideas.
- ‘Word by Word: The secret life of dictionaries’ (Kory Stamper): Kory’s book had just been published a few days before the conference and this was her first-ever reading from it. She read an excerpt from the first chapter. It was so good, I ordered a copy online immediately afterwards (it was a hardback and only 24 copies were available at the conference) — my ordered copy beat me home. I’m about halfway through it and thoroughly savouring every word. Highly recommended for word nerds!
Friday, March 24
- The Online Misinformation Ecosystem (general session) (Craig Silverman): Craig works for Buzzfeed. This session was great on pointing out how news and social media can manipulate a story.
- Computer-Assisted Copy Editing: Using Tansa’s Products for Clear, Concise and Consistent Content (Chris Grimm): Excellent overview of some online tools available for checking consistency. However, each requires a link back to an online server, and so wouldn’t be acceptable to my main client.
- The Editor as Writer: Essential Tools and Strategies (With Music!) (Roy Peter Clark): Great session, covering many basic (but often forgotten) strategies.
- Faking Extroversion as an Introvert (Samantha Enslen, Rachel Godward, Laura Lattimer): Good session, but unfortunately Sam only ended up with about 3 minutes to cover all she had to say, which was a shame as she’s an excellent speaker.
- ‘French toast’ vs. ‘french fries’: The Wild West of Food Editing (Wendy Allen, Janet Keeler): I loved this session! I don’t do food editing, but I cook, eat, and dine out, and read cookbooks and menus. I’m sure that qualifies, right? Oh, I was the only one in the room who knew the difference between grazer (an animal that grazes on grass) and grazier (a person who looks after such animals) — obviously ‘grazier’, which is well known in Australia, is little known in the US.
- Banquet – keynote speaker Anne Curzan: Introduced us to ‘grammando!’, and recommended we use it instead of ‘grammar nazi’
Saturday, March 25
- The Art of the Possible: The Dictionary as Authority of a Changing Language (Kory Stamper, Peter Sokolovksi, Anne Curzan): Lexicographers and linguists — these are my people and they are ‘on fleek’! :-)
- Save Time and Your Sanity: Increase your Efficiency with Microsoft Word (me!): The room held about 70 seats — all were full, and about another 30 people were on the floor or leaning on the walls, which is tough for 90 minutes! Thanks for coming — and for staying, if you were one of the floor people.
- Government Contract Editing–Guidelines to Make It Work (Elizabeth LaPlante, Helen O’Guinn): Good advice on plain language when writing and responding to RFPs etc.
- How to Diagram Sentences — and Why (Lisa McLendon): A whirlwind trip through sentence diagramming, with examples for us to try. This wasn’t taught in Australian schools when I was growing up, so was unfamiliar to me, but I like the structure of it.
- Lightning Presentations and Closing General Session: More whirlwind presentations. Kudos to the presenters!!