Apr 17, 2011

The Curmudgeon Returns

by Marsha Ward

Yes, I put away my curmudgeonly editor for a while, but he's ba-ack. Yes, he is male, for some reason. Maybe it's my history as a tomboy. Yeah, that's it. But I digress.

Things that drove him nuts this week:

"Advanced Reader Copy"

"So?" you ask.

Well, unless she was planting beans--and she wasn't--the term that the writer of this piece wanted, instead of "deep-seeded," was "deep-seated," that is, buried deep, or firmly fixed. This usually refers to opinions, moral beliefs, and the like.

I laughed when I saw "coop," but the curmudgeon didn't. I knew the writer meant "co-op," short for cooperative (a store or business owned collectively by its members, who share in its benefits), but that's not what showed up in print. Just between us chickens, it's wrong to use coop in place of co-op.

Now, "Levi's" is totally acceptable in certain circumstances, such as when Levi owns something (Levi's store, Levi's barn, Levi's dog), but this faux pas appears in a book title, and it's a faux pas because it is followed by & and another noun: "Levi's & something something". The apostrophe is not necessary; it should not be there. This makes both the publisher and the author of the book look very foolish, sad to say.  Not good for someone with advanced degrees.
The curmudgeon retracts and apologizes. See the comments for why.

Speaking of advanced, whenever I see "Advanced Reader Copy," which is used in reference to the ARC that many publishers are providing to book review bloggers and contest winners these days, the following questions immediately spring to mind: Who's looking out for the slow readers? Do they get a special copy, too?

You see, the correct term is Advance Reader Copy, you know, getting this copy in advance of publication?

I'll try to keep the curmudgeon in the closet for a while. Let's (let us) hope no one brings him out again.


  1. So the ' in Levi's really shouldn't be there, even though the brand name is Levi's with the ' in it?

  2. Hmm, since I haven't bought that brand of jeans in years, I'd forgotten about the brand name having an apostrophe. You have a point, and the curmudgeon may have to eat his words.

    However, more research is warranted, and the curmudgeon's host is still up to her eyeballs in taxes.

    The sight of the apostrophe is still jarring, especially without evidence of the registered trademark symbol on the book cover. The generic word "jeans" could have been used.

    Other entities, such as a band, use Levis without the apostrophe. The brand name's website is levi.com.

    The curmudgeon will withdraw his objection to Levi's, with apologies to the publisher and author, but with reservations.

  3. ha! I liked this - especially because I am being curmudgeony (is that a word) myself as I edit my newest rough draft - I keep cringing and groaning as I go through it.

  4. Wow. Don't apologize for your curmudgeon. He makes me smile...and reread my writing an extra couple of hundred times.


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