changeling: (sick)
I'm suffering rather at the moment from what my folkie friends and I have been calling Typhoid Kevan. Kevan came to the National Folk Festival (over the Easter weekend) with some sort of nasty respiratory infection and spread it around with every affectionate bear hug he gave, and he gave a lot. So I missed the last night of the festival because I was in bed by eight (but Cherie and I watched the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who together, so that was something).

The next day I had to help pack up camp and drive home with Jus – he kindly did most of the eightish hours' drive, though. I did about an hour and a half. Let me tell you: when you're feeling sick and wobbly, the last thing you want to do is stand in the cold and pull up tent pegs.

So then I stayed at home for two days. It was nice apart from a serious attack of Guilt from my Guilt Gnome, who doesn't really believe that I'm allowed to take sick leave, and is afraid that I'm going to be fired for it. There are Reasons for this, unfortunately, but I wasn't really feeling up to having a monster conversation with him/her/it about it yesterday.

Today I'm back at work. I have lots of things on my plate at the moment, the most immediate of which is processing our Annual Reprints. I came in to a desk entirely covered in the sodding things. Piles of textbooks, all with print-outs of corrections in place.

The interesting thing about reprints is that all the pages I have to check pretty much look the same. Some of them are printed and some of them are emailed PDFs, but the corrections should just look like the printed book except fixed. So if someone leaves a pile of books on my desk with no note and pages inside, I'm going to check them against the marked up book and notate my spreadsheet.

Guess what! The piles were just the reprints guy leaving a bunch of books I'd already done two weeks ago on my desk! AWESOME. Just wasted my morning.

I would like to go back to bed now, please.
changeling: (Default)
So, I'm editing today, right? And I have my big mo-fo of a dictionary (Macquarie Dictionary, fourth edition) on the table beside me. It's 1676 pages long, hardback, and heavier than Nicole Richie (ooh, unexpected almost-current event joke). It's one of the two "approved" dictionaries for Australian use (the other being the OED). The Macquarie prides itself of being "by Australians, for Australians", and including Australian slang, sayings and people. Most of my (Australian) friends who are editors eschew it for its preference of American spellings over British*.

While looking up "bulimia" for the style sheet, I came across the word "bullrush", which referred me to British bulldog, a game I had played as a child. Always inquisitive about the definitions of others, I flicked back (well, turned the large and thin pages carefully). This is the definition:

British bulldog Pronunciation guide I can't be bothered looking up the ASCII for noun a children's game in which a group of children run repeatedly through an area guarded by the other children, those who are caught each time joining forces with their catchers [ed: why not use "captors"? Much better term. More dramatic] until only one child remains uncaught and is the victor. [stupid run-on sentence theirs]

Well, excuse me, but that is not the British bulldog I played. That sounds more like Octopus (though in that game everyone who is "it" joins hands rather than merely forces and forms a wall across the playing area). In British bulldog, players attempt to run from one side of the field to the other, with the "it" players being in the middle. When a player is caught, s/he has to be physically subdued to the ground with tripping, violence or wrestling, and afterwards joins the "it" players. It was generally banned in schools due to its brutality.

Don't sanitise my childhood games.

* Such as -ize rather than -ise, and giving equal weighting to colour and color, the latter of which is certainly not reflected in, say, Australian media.

Still to come:
A post on naughty bits.


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