Watching, judging: My job copyediting the Offbeat Empire (and how you can help!)

By on Aug 28th

A Very Caroline rage comic.

My name is Caroline and I'm the official Watcher and Judger of the Empire.

I've been working as the Offbeat Empire's copyeditor since January 2011. I copyedit all of the websites. Since being hired, I completed my BA and started and completed an MA in American Studies, specializing in American literature. I have worked as an editor and writer in other capacities throughout my university career, but mostly in academic publications. That's why copyediting for the Empire is such a sweet gig: not many other people get to say that their job description includes making sure that an editor knows the "zombie" baby in a photoshoot is actually a Nightmare Before Christmas reference. Not many other people need to correct the spelling of Cthulhu on an almost-weekly basis.

Therefore I am constantly challenged by the wonderfully weird writers of the Empire. But sometimes, though the perfectionist in me hates to admit it, things slip through the cracks.

This can be for a variety of reasons: sometimes posts come in too late for me to copyedit; sometimes WordPress doesn't save my edits; and sometimes I fuck up. And sometimes readers point out these fuck ups and volunteer to copyedit for the Empire.

You may be able to surmise by now that when a reader does this (sometimes politely, sometimes not so much), it kind of grinds my gears. I'm on the staff pages of all of the sites; I write for Offbeat Home & Life and my bio always says I'm the copyeditor; the editors reference me whenever I point them toward a sweet link. But I get it. I know what it's like to read something and be turned off by typo, or a grammatical error, or even a factual error. And that's where the Fix Typo button comes in.

How to submit a copyedit or other correction

The text you've highlighted will be auto-populated in both Original Text and Corrected text fields, so that you can easily correct and submit!

The text you've highlighted will be auto-populated in both Original Text and Corrected text fields, so that you can easily correct and submit!

Our developer has created a sweet copyedit plug-in that's now live across all the sites. Here's how to use it:

  1. Highlight the post text that needs correcting.
  2. Click the "Fix Typo" button at the end of the post. A window will pop up, auto-populated with the text that you selected to fix.
  3. Fill out the required fields.
  4. Click submit!
  5. I'll get an email about your suggestion.
  6. As soon as I can, I'll go in and make the correction.

Tip: You can skip step 1 if you don't mind manually typing in the text.

In summary

  • The Fix Typo button is a great way to get me, the real-life Offbeat Copyeditor, to reconsider something on the site.
  • Please use it instead of emailing the Empire, tweeting, or making comments about an inaccuracy.
  • You can use it to flag copy issue, not just typos! This can include broken links, factual errors, or even just problematic language.

This ain't no computer running Spell Check willy-nilly; I'm right here at your grammar-whore disposal, always watching… judging…

If you have any questions about the FIX TYPO button, let us know below…

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About Caroline Diezyn

Caroline is the Offbeat Empire's copyeditor, the Offbeat Bride Tribe's Community Manager, and Offbeat Home & Life's Assistant Editor. She's an English literature PhD student and an artist from Canada. She likes to dress in all black, has a severe case of wanderlust, and loves art and fashion. You can be her friend on twitter.