Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Milestone

I like firsts. The first time I felt a Florida summer rain, I couldn't believe it: warm rain. I hadn't known that was possible. My first kiss was actually three kisses and I remember pointing out the exact placement of each one to my best friend. Lips, yes, they were all on my lips, but one was off to the side, see? It seemed important to note that.

The thing about a first is that you remember it, but you don't remember a last, since you don't really know when that is. I mean, my life isn't over yet, so I don't know if my first trip to Africa, for instance, was also my last. See?

Well, I had a first today, and if I weren't such an exhibitionist, as demonstrated by blogging, I'd say I was embarrassed by it.

I'm copyediting a woman's third novel and we're using hard copy. I've set myself up at a pretty table. I've got the Chicago Manual of Style and the dictionary. I have pens in three colors. I have coffee and water and a scratch pad. I'm ready for action.

Well, I've never been certain of the spelling of Manhattan. I really think there should be an e in there somewhere, probably at the end. Manhattan came up in the manuscript so I pushed out my chair and stood up. I went over to my computer and typed Manhatten into the Search line. It turns out that all the vowels are a's. Okay. Good. It's conceivable I'll remember that for the rest of my life. Finally.

Great, but did you notice that I actually left my workstation to go check it online instead of picking up the dictionary that was at my elbow?

Yeah. Wow.


Bourd said...

A paper dictionary? A bound book? How quaint.

Anonymous said...

You made me look. Yep, it IS in my oudated dictionary. It's a drink [and, as an afterthought and in brackets,a borough of NYC].