11 searches made by an editor


I’ve done a post a bit like this before, but as an editor I like to stop every now and then, take stock and be grateful for all the new things I’ve learned recently as a result of online searches. This time everything is fairly innocuous and unlikely to bring an ominous knock at the door! These 11 searches were all undertaken as part of my work on two books; one fiction, one non-fiction.

  1. Ladyboys — one word or two? (It’s one.)
  2. Did Samuel Romilly oppose the slave trade? (He did indeed!)
  3. Did Jaguar make a Roadster model of their E-Type in 1974? (Yes.)
  4. Is it Wi-Fi, wi-fi, wifi or WiFi? (Wi-Fi — which is actually a trademark. Although in a work of fiction no one will probably care as long as you’re consistent.)
  5. Does Colman’s mustard take an apostrophe? (Yes.)
  6. Raccoon — one ‘c’ or two? (Usually two, but one can be acceptable in some contexts.)
  7. Does Zeinabu irene Davis really use a lower case ‘i’ for ‘irene’? (Yes.)
  8. Is ‘chile limón’ a legit potato chip flavour over in the good old US of A? (It sure is!)
  9. What are the lyrics of ‘The H1N1 Rap’ by Dr Clarke? (Enjoy …)
  10. How did Yul Brynner die? (Lung cancer.)
  11. Where were Harper & Row located back in 1964? (New York.)

Please rest assured that I do look at more than one source when fact-checking, but I’m not going to bore you with all of them!

That, dear reader, is why my head is full of bits of information that probably wouldn’t even be useful in a pub quiz, but I forget to take my vitamin D and put the bins out. Prize if you can guess which searches were for the fiction book and which for the non-fiction.

Writers, what have you been researching recently? And fellow editors, what strange facts have you learned in the course of your work?


Live, edit and learn

When I’m copy-editing, my job involves fact-checking. Do I know everything? Far from it! Even when I’m editing a book on a topic I’m familiar with, I still need to double- and triple-check some facts. This means that I learn a lot during the course of a job. Here’s a snapshot of some of my recent searches and a few snippets of knowledge. Hopefully, some of you will learn something new, too!

Balkan peninsula topographic map

  1. The Anemoi are wind gods in Greek mythology – Boreas, Notus, Zephyrus and Eurus (spellings may vary!).
  2. The Balkan countries are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. Parts of Greece and Turkey are also located within the Balkan Peninsula. There is some disagreement over which countries are included in the definition.
  3. The cervical vertebrae are located in the neck. They are nowhere near the cervix!
  4. It’s surprisingly difficult to find out exactly how many times David Cameron met with François Hollande.
  5. Fenugreek is widely believed to help with lactation, although it hasn’t been conclusively proven. (I was actually breastfeeding when I discovered this, but I’ve never taken fenugreek!) Substances that increase milk supply are known as galactagogues, which sound like threatening alien lifeforms. 
  6. Frumenty is a old English dish made with grains.
  7. A Lavaliere is a type of necklace originally popularised in France. The word has also been adopted in the US to describe various ceremonies around sororities and fraternities.
  8. Strigoi are vampires‘the undead’ or a mixture of different concepts.
  9. Super-jacked cattle exist – and pigs could be next.
  10. Sympathomimetic drugs mimic the function of the sympathetic nervous system (well, duh!).

Click on the links above, store away the knowledge for future reference … and wait with anticipation to see which adverts get served to you next. You’re welcome!