Thursday, May 14, 2009

Halley's comment

A writer likes nothing more than being read. And so do my chubby cheeks, like being red, that is, with the poignant flush of a bashful blush. Yes really, I'm still amazed, bemused, and captivated, still dazzled (I’ll spare you the rest of the alphabet) a whole week after being bowled over by a stampede of praise from a herd of business friends and relations, the recipients of last week’s NEEDSer Newsflash on the Bashful Blagger.

How nice to hear that so many of you read this blog and, dare I say it, actually like it. That made my day, so thank you foBBies (fans of Bashful Blagger), one and all!

My only regret is that all of you nice foBBies commented to me in private, by e-mail, which makes it hard for me to divulge, um, share what you said in public (well yes, there are limits). So do me a big favour. Please. Next time you feel the urge to interact, go to COMMENTS (click the link under any post). Who knows? If we all shared our views openly, we might get some open discussions going on here and wouldn’t that be fun! Don’t worry, you don’t have to post under your real ID, you can always put down A Non, or from Ur FoBBy, or use your own nick, Mick, whatever. Now that would be fun!

Since we’re still on the fun subject of crowdsourcing (um, are we? More like sourcing the crowd, if you ask me) (so who asked me?) you should know that SENSE is not the only place I go fishing for compliments, ahem, answers from my peers and superiors, as in "bolder and wiser" language professionals. On LinkedIn, I’ve got a public discussion opening up nicely on "realistic editing rates". I’ve asked: how many words can you edit in one hour? So far, for light proofreading, the going rate seems to hover around 8-10 pages (standard 250 words on a page).

For those of us lucky enough not to be dyslexic (lexic?) yet cannot count (like me) or, to put it more glamorously, have a light dose of dyscalculia (me two) (too!), this works out to 2000+ words an hour for some light proofreading. Funnily enough, this and other rates mentioned on LinkedIn for more complicated editing are similar to the results I got when I asked SENSE members the same question.

On LinkedIn, Susannah Driver-Barstow, a freelance editor at Prose Partner (greater New York area) put me on to the valuable editorial rate chart published by the Editorial Freelancers Association. Later on Susannah commented, “I do find EFA to be useful especially re the business side of freelance editing.” I followed the link and learnt that this “professional resource for editorial specialists and those who hire them” is packed with plenty of goodies open to the public. Check it out!

Talking of checking out, it’s nearly time for me to wend my way but before I go, did this week’s headline get you wondering, by any piffling perchance? We’ve all heard of Halley’s comet (due to swing past Earth again 52 years from now) but what was Halley’s comment and who did he say it to? Let me tell you: Edmund Halley (1656-1742) was an associate of Isaac Newton (1643-1727). One day (or night) Halley must have commented to Newton, “Come along old chap, publish or perish, pip-pip!” (or words to that effect) because without Halley’s encouragement and financial support Newton’s definitive work on gravity and other grave matters would never have seen daylight (or should that be starlight?).

So there you have it, Halley’s comment. Um, better not quote me on that. Let me leave you with a final note from Bill Hayley & the Comets, and dazzling footwork by Lisa Gaye & Johnny Johnston. Bill named his band after the royal astronomer, but obviously didn’t know that Halley pronounced his name not to rhyme with valley, or Bill’s name, but more like good lordy Ms Hawley. Hm… Hawley’s comet, doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Or does it? Are comments welcome? What do you think?


  1. Roz RiderMay 15, 2009

    If foBBies are fans, what do you call people allergic to Bashful Blagger? I'd say foBBia.

  2. What about the folk who just say they like BB? Would they be called FIBBIES?

  3. AnonymousMay 17, 2009

    You could call other readers to lazy to say that they like the blog "flabbies".
    Keep up the good work.