Friday, July 5, 2013

What can one delegate in an Indological (and/or) philosophical project?

I tried hard to explain to the authors I have been working with that they have to be consistent in their editorial choices. In some cases, this works, but more often than not, I end up having to re-do all on my own. And, in fact, one does have the right to ignore editorial rules and to focus instead on her research's contents. (Incidentally, this is why I am not completely convinced by D. Wujastyk's appealing arguments about the fact that one no longer needs publishing houses).
After having discussed for months with every author I have been working with, I decided I will no longer try to do all. My time is valuable and I prefer to spend money, than to employ it to correct commas.

Concretely, I will delegate (to the author, if she can handle them, or to someone else if she just cannot) the following tasks:

  1. —check of bibliographical entries and of references within the text (you can use the style you prefer, but be consistent, don't use "Gadamer 1980: 6" and then "Gadamer 1980, p. 7", followed by "Gadamer, op. cit., p. 8" and by "Gadamer, ibid.")
  2. —check of footnote numbers (are they always before or always after punctuation?)
  3. —footnote content (don't use footnotes for short bibliographical references which could be added in brackets after the quoted text, e.g., "Gadamer spoke of Horizontverschmelzung (1980: 6)")
  4. —check of n-slashes, m-slashes and the like (- within composiste words, e.g., post-mortem; – within numbers' intervals, e.g., 2–4; — for parenthetic sentences such as "If you want —and I assume you do— please come")
  5. —check of quotation marks and punctuation (is the punctuation always before or always after the punctuation mark?)
  6. —check of the spaces after punctuation
  7. —check of the full stops at the end of items in a list (must be either always present or never), titles (always absent) and footnotes (always present)
  8. —check of italics for foreign words (all of them should be in italics, apart from the final -s of the English plural, e.g., "the dharmas of a student include: studying, serving one's teacher…") 
  9. —check of the use of "we" (I would only use in case of more than one author, but more important is that one does not mix its referents: it cannot be used once to denote the author ("Our case-study indicates…"), then to indicate "whoever" ("After this passage, we read…") and next to indicate the author+his or her readers ("We have now seen that…")
  10. —check of the English form (this I have always delegated, to be honest)
  11. —check of Sanskrit punctuation (see this post)

Anything else one might delegate? What consumes your time while correcting a text?

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