The Cashmore System
What’s the best form of References? Harvard? Vancouver? Short-title? Pah – forget them! Try the Cashmore system, which has many benefits. It’s freeform. You don’t have to worry about any silly conventional rules… like spelling, for example. Or horizontal writing. It’s colourful. The references just jump off the page at you, instead of cowering away at the end of a long article in a dense forest of tiny black type. And it’s big. None of this 10-point calibri nonsense. You write how you like, with a mixture of small and capital letters, and take care to fill the page. Go on, make it a New Year’s resolution. Next time you have a book or article to copy-edit, liven it up by using the Cashmore referencing system.
Call me Sir
I have today received the exciting news that I am now an advanced member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). I had to find a couple of referees, explain how I'd been trained, and tot up a huge number of editing hours on respectable jobs to attain these giddy heights. Or so they say. In fact, I think it's all in the form-filling. If you can manage to fill the 'advanced membership' form in under three days without the use of Tippex, you probably deserve instant advanced membership. Of course, just last week SfEP put the upgrade form, much simplified, up online, and the manual form-filling has gone the way of all things. Typical. But at least I can say 'Well, I became an advanced member when advanced membership meant advanced membership. It wasn't so easy in those days. Why, I remember back in '07 - or was it '08 ...' I bet my children are already thinking up excuses not to visit for a few months, until the excitement has died down.
Halloween at Grammar Primary
When I went to Dylan's school at two o' clock today I was faced by a horde of ghouls, vampires, ghosts and other creatures I didn't even know the names of. So what did I do? I told them a story. It worked. I escaped with my life and got back home just in time to get out of the car and be drenched by a downpour. Last year I read Halloween Stories. This year I gave the class a choice between Wheelybins (a slightly spooky but mainly funny story), and The House At The End Of Witch Street, which is undeniably scary. You can guess which one they chose. Oh well, Wheelybins, maybe next year. I think everyone enjoyed the story, especially the bits where nobody listened to the headteacher, and where Jonathon James was wondering if the monster in the story would eat up teachers. I certainly enjoyed reading it aloud, particularly as this story contains one of my favourite lines from all the As They Grow Older stories: "Do you know, child, that Mr Fuller hasn't been eating his breakfasts?"