The Editorial Apartment


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“How long will this take to proofread/edit?” asked the project manager

impendingsunset The sun is preparing to set in this picture. That can happen surprisingly fast, as you know, but at the same time you must wait. That is the pace at which to start to imagine how long it might take to proofread or edit something.

Many factors are involved. For example, the experience of the proofer/editor, the nature of the piece to be reviewed, whether you want copyediting or proofreading, the amount of text and number of pages, if the piece is a text document or if the piece is already laid out into a design, etc.

To help reduce the time spent proofreading or copyediting, provide any background information about the item to be reviewed, such as what it will be used for, if it’s a printed piece or an online piece, or if it’s part of an existing campaign. If there are things you don’t want checked or modified in any way, mention them.

In other words, a “small” piece with just three words doesn’t take two seconds to review. Allow at least 30 minutes.

The answer: Anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. With a quick glance at the material and with any background information you provide, a good copy editor or proofreader should be able to estimate the time needed.


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How to get people to use the metro

Around the mid-2000s, I was riding the LA Metro trains a few times a week across town to my workplace. I had plenty of time to observe the neighborhoods I passed, the type of people who rode the train, and to study the advertising campaign LA Metro was using.

The campaign had great consistency: an image area, a short paragraph, the logo, the website, all in predictable places in a poster-size layout. The copy was brief, personable and funny, which is welcoming and unusual to see from a transportation company.

Unfortunately, I never took a photo of any of the numerous posters I saw. Here is one that shows the format, though I don’t remember seeing it:

Source: This article from TheCityFix.

An online search for samples of the posters brought up another attention-getting transportation campaign: the award-winning video for Metro Trains Melbourne in Australia called “Dumb Ways to Die.” Watch: