In this recurring feature, we’re sharing tips for editors from the desk of Douglas Gibson. Good for those starting out or old hands who need a reminder, these guidelines form an engaging guide for sharp-eyed wordsmiths.
Make sure that lists are in a consistent form. All too often we find published lists that provide, for example, a list of aims as follows:
“ a. to entertain
b. to instruct
c. to inform
e to provide a model.”
Clearly, this is a very sloppy form of guidance, but a keen-eyed editor will find inconsistent listing everywhere. It’s almost as worrying as spotting a listing ship.