Answers to Copy-editing

Thanks to those who were brave enough to have a try at the copy-editing job on the previous post. Here are the mistakes I found in the passage from that post. I have marked them in bold and have added explanations where I felt they were needed.

Travel from Italy to Greece

An alternative to driving the long way around from Italy to Greece is to go by car ferry. On the day we wanted to make the trip many years ago, third class tickets for the “Mediterranean Sea” (no comma) were sold out, so we had to buy first class. After waiting in line for hours, our VW van was crammed aboard (no space in a board, no comma after it) into one of the last available spaces, a cubbyhole with a low ceiling and steel walls on three sides.

Three days later, when it was time to unload, this cubicle became an oven. Temperatures soaring over 100 F.,  (add comma, remove “and”) the chaos of impatient passengers, (add comma) and disorganized unloading practices had us nearly suffocating on the engine exhaust of cars started way too soon in the closed-in (hyphenated before a noun but not after) car deck. (In those days in Italy, there were no safety regulations such as we have in Canada nowadays.) An overeager passenger in dire need of driving lessons backed up his trailer at a weird angle behind us, making it impossible for us to move. Trapped in the scorching cubicle I felt like a chicken in a slow cooker.

6 thoughts on “Answers to Copy-editing

  1. Thank you. I wasn’t sure about first class, whether or not it should be capitalised; also didn’t realise cubbyhole and overeager were each one word, not two. I missed the hyphen in closed-in too.


    • There are a lot of little rules that many people aren’t familiar with, but if you work at copy-editing you have to learn all that extra “stuff” in a hurry. You did well if you found 17.


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