Query June

When I got home tonight, I fell onto the couch and had me a big nap, a nap that involved Tallulah similarly sleeping, on my head. When I got up and remembered we had to Ask June tonight, I headed in here and saw this hair on the webcam.


Okay, seriously. What is up with the 'do? Did I time travel in my sleep and become an 18th-century composer for awhile? It is truly a thing of beauty. So I decided to dress it up.


Now it's flowery bad hair. You know you miss me playing with the special features on my webcam.

Let's pick our locks elsewhere, shall we? It's time for another brilliant installment of Ask June.

Aubrey "I want to know all those 'vs.'s' including 'lie vs. lay.' You have me so nervous I'll type something grammatically incorrect."

Aubrey. Do I seem like someone who would pick on you for being grammatically incorrect? Would I poke fun at you for that inappropriate apostrophe in "vs.'s"? Never!

I don't know why everyone thinks I am going to judge them for mistakes. First of all, I make them all the time. That's why there are people like me, people who see the flaws in everything and CORRECT those mistakes. Really, I'm not going to care if you make errors in your comments to me. I promise.

I do not know what other "vs." type things you mean other than lay or lie, Aubrey, but I have a good one for remembering lay or lie. Did I cover this in another Ask June? It feels like I have.

When you LAY something, you PLACE it. Just think PLAYCE. "Come lay down with me" (okay, don't really, stalker). Now, think about that. Is that correct? Try it with place. "Come place down with me." Makes no sense, right? So it should be "Come lie down with me."

Here's another. Lie that down right there. Place that down right there. HAH! It should be "lay"!

Thank you. Tip your wait staff.

Aubrey also wonders, "I'm wondering if you could tell us again how one learns to be a copy editor."

Be bad at math, geography, athletics, and science. Be good at English. Have no choice but to major in English. Endure four years of people saying, "Oh, are you gonna TEACH!?" Graduate not knowing how to teach, but knowing how to read books really well. Discover no one wants to hire someone who can read books really well.

Really, Aubrey, I think you have to have a natural knack for knowing parts of a sentence, the grammar rules, spelling. I mean, you have to be able to look at something and know if it's right or wrong.

Also too, you have to be detail oriented. You know what I hate? I hate it when people say "orientated" when they mean "oriented." I guess you also have to be cranky to be a copy editor.

After that, it just really takes practice. Once you miss something huge one time–like a who/whom kind of thing–you will never forget to look for it in the future.

As for how I got my first job, there was an ad in the paper for a proofreader. I applied, they gave me a test and I passed. I do not know how others got into this charming career. Is there anyone else who copy edits who can help a sister out with how they got into it?

And remember, being a lover of books does NOT mean you can proofread. You are hardly reading when you are proofreading (or copy editing) (they are vaguely different) (in copy editing, you are allowed to make some changes to the copy. In proofreading, you just change bad spelling and punctuation). You are looking at every letter, every bit of punctuation. You are noticing if the leading is off. You are noticing if the folios are right. You are noticing if there is consistent space before the cutlines. You also must know what all those terms mean.

I guess you shouldn't get me started on this topic. I have a lot to say in the subject. I have been doing it for 12 years.

Shannon inquires, "What do you see yourself doing at age 60?"

For one thing, Shannon, I'll just be happy to be alive, with my cancer-gene family. Seriously. But if I am still here and not dying of anything, I hope to be near retirement, with several pets, living near the water. And I do not mean the hose out back.

What if I'm still blogging at 60? How annoying would that be? "Welllll, my rheumatiz has been acting up, and I've been stopped up for days." Really, it wouldn't be that different from now, would it?

That wraps up another hair-raising week of Ask June. Thanks for your questions, and as always, Ask June here.

11 thoughts on “Query June

  1. Your hair slays me. At least it has a personality of it’s own.
    Thanks for answering my rather lame queries. I’m asking something better next time. As soon as I think of it.


  2. I got a job as an editorial assistant (basically doing admin for next to no money), which turned into a job as a production editor, which turned into a job as a sub-editor (a large part of which is editing copy) so I suppose there was some career progression there.
    I agree that you have to be someone who gets annoyed by the tiniest errors that no one else even notices to do this job. Also I love that method of remembering lay vs lie. Great tip!


  3. Ooooooh, PRETTY! (pats hair like a cat’s)
    Isn’t vs. more adversarial than lie vs. lay would allow? I know they used it in my petition for divorce from my first husband and I sure was agin’ him.
    Are lie and lay suing each other or something? I need to know. I’ll lie down and lay here like a doorstop until you email me.


  4. I just read your disease of the moment button. Did you ever find out what a halo was around your tonsils?


  5. I just graduated from college with a degree in English, and the top two most irritating questions I am/was asked are/were: 1. “Do you want to teach?” (Answer: GOOD LORD, NO.) 2. “So, uh, what do you want to do with that?” (Answer: Read all day, every day.)
    But I did just apply to be an Editorial Assistant. Wish me luck!


  6. I became a copy editor the same way–I took a test and passed. lol But I must say, I went through the same thing in college. Although, technically, my degree is in journalism. And I don’t write or work for a newspaper. I’m just really good at reading. lol


  7. Oh MY! Lovely Hair June. I have a quandry I am totally enthralled with you and your hair. I have in fact taken your picture to the salon with me and asked my stylist to give me the “June”. How in the world is she going to recreate THIS?


  8. Why didn’t someone teach me the lie/lay trick before?????!!! Now I won’t have to go out of my way to use other words to avoid saying it incorrectly.


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