Coming Up February 12: Fun with Hard-Copy Marks

The pointy symbol on the Editors Kingston logo is …

  • (a) an upside-down letter V, illustrating how editors put language right when it has gone awry
  • (b) a tent, symbolizing a snug home for every word in the wilderness of text
  • (c) a witch’s hat, because editors work deep magic
  • (d) a caret mark, used in traditional paper copy editing to show exactly where in a line of text a change written above the line applies

While all of these frankly seem plausible to us (good editing surely has something of the magical about it!), we are told that the Editors Canada logo designers had (d) in mind. Clearly, while almost all editing is done onscreen these days, the traditional marks that copy editors used for most of the twentieth century to show changes on a paper manuscript still have a strong association with the profession.

These marks are still used in some contexts, and editing students in most programs are required to at least become familiar with them. The related (but not quite identical) marks used traditionally at the proofreading stage are used perhaps even more often, and are finding new life in onscreen PDF markup in the form of custom stamps.

So we thought it would be fun and instructive to spend the next twig gathering exploring these squiggles together! We’ll have some hands-on paper exercises for everyone to try, an onscreen demonstration of downloading stamps for pdf markup, and plenty of time to share experiences and opinions. If paper editing is new to you, come to learn;  if you are an old hand at it, come to share your knowledge—and perhaps discover some variations on it

If you have a document that you (or someone else, with their permission) has edited on paper with traditional marks, bring it in to share—even better, scan it and email it to Stephanie ( by Tuesday, February 11, and we can compare editing “handwriting.”

More Great Guest Speakers Coming Soon!

March 11: Shelley Tanaka, award-winning Kingston writer and editor

April 8: David Sweet of Books and Company, beloved indie bookstore in Picton

Join Us

Ongwanada Resource Centre
191 Portsmouth Avenue
7 to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)
Free for Editors Canada members
$5 for visitors

Find Us on Facebook

Whether or not you come to our gatherings, feel free to join our Facebook group and chat with other Kingston-area editors and assorted word nerds.


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