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Canberra Society of Editors Newsletter

N ext meeting Vol 16 • Number 5 • June 2007


Wednesday 27 June
From the President
Come to the cabaret
T
he weather reminds us that it’s year the society will be
that time of year again—time to running a workshop to
W e are proud to present the
Splinter Sisters, fresh from
their triumph at the IPEd conference
renew your membership, that is.
You will shortly be receiving, as usual,
address some of the
issues that people have
in Hobart. They will sing their way the subscription renewal form, which raised, such as how the
with panache and feeling through also enables us to keep your contact test will be marked, who
Yarraluma loving, a literary musical details up to date. In the same mail-out examines the exam-
that pays homage to a respected there will be a committee nomination iners, and what the
Canberra editor. form. For 2007–08 the following criteria for assessment
positions will definitely be vacant: are. The June general meeting will be
Shelley Kenigsberg and Pamela
President, Treasurer, Secretary and an ideal opportunity to talk to Shelley
Hewitt are the dynamic duo who are
Membership Secretary. I encourage all Kenigsberg, who chairs the
the Splinter Sisters. Their forte is
members, especially new members, to Accreditation Board, about these and
songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s—
seriously consider taking on a more other matters. Our new representative
the content and tone suitably
active role. When I look at the current on the board is Larissa Joseph (who
amended and updated for editors,
committee, I note that it has only one replaces Lee Kirwan), with Chris Pirie
and the grammar checked according
recently joined member on it. as her alternate; I’m sure we all really
to the highest editorial standards.
On the website you will find an appreciate their contribution to this
Tune up your vocal cords to important work.
outline of the roles and responsibilities
warble the choruses (take note, all
of office-holders and committee I’m happy to announce that we have
of you who sing in choirs), or simply
members, as revised in 2006. With a finally received our copies of Editors
come along for a fun time, lots of
strong committee, and with each person in Conversation, which this society
mulled wine to warm you up, and
on it doing their job, being on the partially subsidised. The book captures
tasty nibbles.
committee is not particularly onerous— the reflections of eight Honorary Life
As usual, in the Friends Lounge indeed, it can be very rewarding both Members from the Canberra,
of the National Library, at 6.00 for personally and professionally. I would Tasmanian, South Australian and
6.30 pm on Wednesday 27 June. We be happy to answer any questions you Victorian societies of editors on diverse
will go to dinner afterwards at might have about particular positions, issues that affect all of us who are
Delissio, 83 Theodore Street, Curtin. and so would the other members of the working as professional editors. Our
It has an interesting and extensive current committee. members can buy the book at a
menu, and they may even tolerate discounted price; it will be available at
Janet Mackenzie’s IPEd notes touch
our bursting into song. general meetings or by contacting the
briefly on the recent national
conference, and I’d like to thank Peter Secretary.
Fuller for providing us with a lively and Finally, those members who had the
comprehensive account of it. Rightly, good sense to come to the May
he devotes a certain amount of space to meeting—the self-styled mind-
accreditation, which vitally concerns stretching quiz night—were rewarded
those of us who earn a living in this with plentiful fun, lots of prizes and
profession of ours. Thanks also, then, delicious food. We are all indebted to
to those of you—more than fifty—who the indefatigable Ann Parkinson and
responded to the general email request her co-conspirators Ted Briggs and
for expressions of interest in sitting the Elizabeth Murphy.
first examination next year. Later this Virginia Wilton
The Canberra Editor Vol 16 • Number 5 • June 2007

Canberra Society of IPEd notes June 2007


Editors Inc. News from the Institute of Professional Editors

T
ABN 77 022 481 553 he third national conference of end June draft constitution provided to
www.editorscanberra.org editors, held in Hobart, was a the societies and posted on
PO Box 3222 huge success, thoroughly website for comment
Manuka ACT 2603 end July comments close
enjoyed by all who attended, and a
tribute to the capacities of the Society during Aug. Interim Council considers
Committee members 2006–07 comments and revises
of Editors, Tasmania, which showed
President constitution as necessary
that you don’t have to be big to be great. end Aug. constitution finalised
Virginia Wilton
0417 691 269
The keynote speeches were of high end Sept. agreement by societies
virginia@whh.com.au calibre, and the papers and end Oct. incorporation of IPEd.
vwilton@homemail.com.au presentations were both interesting and
Renée Otmar’s conference
Vice President instructive.
Ann Parkinson
presentation on the accreditation
Transcripts will be posted on the examination showed the painstaking
6282 1993
Ann.Parkinson@atrax.net.au website of the Tasmanian Society of work that has gone into its preparation
Immediate past President Editors <www.tas-editors.org.au> as so far. There was lively discussion
Claudia Marchesi they become available. Among the about the proposed arrangements and,
6287 1110 (w) associated activities, highlights were in response, the Accreditation Board,
cmarchesi@netspeed.com.au the launch of Editors in Conversation, headed by Shelley Kenigsberg, is
Secretary the reception at Government House, the
Alan Roberts looking at modifying them.
conference dinner featuring
6251 2172 In particular, those present showed
alan.roberts@velocitynet.com.au entertainment by the String Chickens a marked preference for an on-screen
Treasurer (and their rooster), and the lunchtime
examination. The ramifications of this
Susan Wales musical extravaganza by the Splinter
6242 1800 (w); 6259 5342 (h) will be explored in an issues paper,
Sisters. Events concluded with a taste which will be available for comment
swales@earlychildhood.org.au
of South Australian delights to whet our
Newsletter editor, web minder, on the IPEd website by July. The
appetites for the next national
membership files Accreditation Board expects that the
Peter Judge conference in October 2009. first examination will be held in March
6296 6211 (w/h/fax) IPEd and its associated groups took
peter.judge@bigpond.com 2008; the date and venues will be
the opportunity to meet in person, as advertised at least four months in
Membership Secretary well as reporting to the conference and
Ed Highley advance.
6296 1461(h) 0412 358 151(m) seeking feedback. Most pleasing was
The website, after much hard work
ed@clarusdesign.com the report of the national vote on by Mike Purdy, is about to appear in
Public Officer establishing IPEd as a legal entity,
Helen Topor
its third iteration: this one is based on
which shows editors taking the future
6207 3414 (w) the open-source software Drupal,
of the profession into their own hands which makes it easy for users to
helen.topor@cit.act.edu.au
by forming a peak body: all societies
Publicity & hospitality coordinator publish, manage and organise a great
vacant are overwhelmingly in favour, with an
variety of content. Both appearance and
Catering coordinators average of 94 per cent. The vote on functions will be significantly
Jeneen and John McLeod accreditation, at 84 per cent, is also a
improved, and the Communication
6291 0861 (h) resounding mandate to proceed.
jmcleods@bigpond.net.au Working Group led by Kathie Stove is
The Interim Council has prepared a engaged in revising and updating the
IPEd delegate
Virginia Wilton
timeline for incorporating the national contents.
6273 3048 (w) organisation: Janet Mackenzie
virginia@whh.com.au mid-June Interim Council finds and Liaison Officer
IPEd Accreditation Board briefs a lawyer to draw up
Chris Pirie constitution
6282 3730
cpirie@netspeed.com.au
Larissa Joseph
6161 5216
larissa.joseph@gmail.com Annual General Meeting, 26 July
Committee members at large
Shirley Dyson
Louise Oliver
D on’t panic! Nobody will try to make you take on some committee
office that you don’t want to. But this is your chance to see how your
society is run, to ask questions and air any grumbles, to meet up with your
fellow editors and do a little productive networking. Put the date in your
diary now—more details (and a nomination form) will reach you later.

page 2
The Canberra Editor Vol 16 • Number 5 • June 2007

The IPEd national conference, Hobart, 9–13 May 2007

D
o editors have an economic value? Saul Eslake Marilyn Dorman, Sharon Nevile and Jennifer Wright
might not have put a dollar figure on it, but the ANZ from the University of Southern Queensland asked how well
Banking Group’s Chief Economist had no doubt editors were reading the signs about changing perceptions
that editors make ‘a necessary and valuable contribution’ of who editors were and what they did. To answer questions
to Australia. about their evolving role, the trio said, editors needed to be
In a keynote address to the Institute of Professional able to describe what they did and show how their
Editors’ Conference in Hobart last month, Eslake recalled knowledge and skills had been acquired and developed.
that as CEO of the Victorian Commission of Audit in 1993, The practical next steps, however, were thoroughly aired
he had been charged to report on the state’s financial at the IPEd Accreditation Board panel session, held on day
position. The report’s 13 chapters had been drafted by 12 two to explain developments in the Institute’s work. The
staff, occasionally supported by nine consultants, ‘each of formation of the federated organisation in 2005 as a
whom had his own writing style’. Then there were the four successor to the Council of Australian Societies of Editors
commissioners, ‘each of whom had his own particular view and the introduction of accreditation meant that editors were
of what ought to be said, and how’. poised to move to ‘a new level of professionalism’.
It’s a familiar dilemma—and Eslake and his team made Delegates heard that IPEd has a range of tasks in hand,
the wise, practical decision and hired a professional editor. including its imminent legal incorporation, plans for a
She made sure that an informed national campaign to raise public
non-specialist could understand awareness of editors and their
the analysis and recommend- work, and an assessment of the
ations, provided a useful glossary training and mentoring that are
of technical terms and acronyms, available around Australia. It was
and set a style so that ‘it was no accreditation, though, that people
longer obvious that most of the wanted to hear about and talk
chapters were drafted by different about.
authors’. Under the revised assessment
‘I have no doubt that we could scheme, editors can seek either
not have achieved these objectives Accreditation or Advanced
without her assistance,’ Eslake Accreditation. To gain the first
Saul Eslake and Peter Doherty
told his audience on day two of the were two of the keynote speakers
qualification, candidates will need
conference, ‘and although I can no to pass a three-hour copyediting
longer remember, almost 15 years later, how much it cost examination based on Australian Standards for Editing
the commission, I have no doubt that it was money very Practice. Those seeking the higher qualification will have
well spent.’ to submit a portfolio of work. Details are still being worked
So what’s a editor worth? The average earnings of $61 out, but updates on this, and other developments can be
an hour that emerged from Pamela Hewitt’s survey of found at <www.editors-sa.org/iped.htm>.
freelancers in 2005 didn’t mean that editors would The IPEd presenters had prepared their own question-
automatically have a gross annual salary of $120,000. and-answer sheet, but fielded more questions from the
Certainly working for as little as $20–$25 an hour was auditorium. What will accreditation cost? Hopefully less
‘unsustainable for a professional business’. than $400, with possible tax deductibility a sweetener. Will
If editors were worth more than that, Eslake said, employers know what it means? Yes, after they’ve been
‘perhaps your society needs to be more active in ‘marketing’ exposed to the publicity campaign now being developed.
what you do, and in spelling out the tangible benefits which Can you charge more when you’re an AE (Accredited
can accrue to government agencies, corporations and other Editor) or an AAE (Advanced)? Possibly—at least you’ll
organisations from clear and understandable have a stronger case.
communications.’ As questions showed, many in the audience were already
His point underlines again the importance of raising the gearing up for the initial three-hour test. How and where
profile of the profession and improving awareness of what would they sit the exam? Would it be a paper exam or could
editors do—outcomes which accreditation will help to push people do it at their PC? This seems to be a grey area, with
forward. The role and status of the profession was a constant questions prompting further thought about the mechanics
reference point throughout the three-day conference, of the test. Although candidates can bring some reference
organised by the Society of Editors (Tasmania) around the texts to the exam room, there will be no short cut to
theme ‘From Inspiration to Publication’ and held in the sunlit Advanced status. Passing at AE-level is a prerequisite for
conference wing at Wrest Point. Events on the final day ran candidature to the next level—and the pass mark will be
conjointly with the 2007 Style Council.
(continued on page 4)
page 3
The Canberra Editor Vol 16 • Number 5 • June 2007

(The Hobart conference, concluded from previous page)


around 80 per cent. As one visitor remarked over morning must do and how they must do it’. Editors and other
coffee, that would be the minimum to make it credible. communicators ‘are often in a position to become
Some conference time was devoted to pleasures: the information managers’, a role which might extend from
excellent eating around Salamanca, fine local wines, simple corporate communications to designing and
convivial conversations and a reception at hosted by the managing online information management systems. Finally,
Governor, Mr William Cox, at Government House. More participants had a taste of pleasures to come when the South
seriously, plenary sessions, concurrent sessions and Australian delegates laid out wine and delicacies with an
workshops over the three working days covered interests invitation to the 2009 conference in Adelaide.
from the general to the specialised. Editing for science, If the IPEd conference was concerned with the future
education, finance and the law was given prominence, while of the profession and the changing nature of editing, the
Tasmanian and Antarctic themes picked up common themes of the Style Council 2007
local interests. sessions were the changing nature of English
Keynote speakers looked at different and the future of the language.
aspects of communications. Professor Peter Pam Peters, Associate Professor of
Doherty, who won the Nobel Prize for Linguistics at Macquarie University, had found
Medicine in 1996, talked about problems in colloquialisation gaining ground in written
communicating specialist knowledge to public English since 1993. Punctuation was becoming
audiences. The first challenge was to ‘get less rigorous, and among experts there was a
people’s attention’ when the media was chiefly growth in disputed definitions—just what do we
interested in celebrities. Often ideas were mean by the phrase ‘to beg the question’?
better conveyed visually than by the written Yvonne Rolzhausen had found new words being
word—a point Doherty demonstrated with a drawn into The Atlantic’s repertoire from such
dramatic clip of an immune reaction, a T cell Pam Peters disparate sources as Arabic and the Internet.
instructing a malignant cell to suicide. Everyone agreed that the Internet was
Yvonne Rolzhausen, the Senior Editor who leads The influential—it had ‘enlarged the consumer market for words
Atlantic magazine’s team which exhaustively cross-checks and communication’, Pam Peters said. But was it mostly
material before publication, stressed the need for accuracy beneficial? Bruce Moore, Editor of the Australian National
in safeguarding a publication’s integrity. And Romona Dictionary at ANU, thought it presented a problem for
Koval, presenter of the ABC’s Book Show, described editors lexicographers seeking to pin down meanings because sites
as the ‘midwives’ of book publishing whose skill rescued tended to feed off one another.
many a clumsy but promising manuscript. Peters thought we might be reaching a point where
Other sessions looked at Web-based publications and linguistic standards could no longer be imposed, although
stressed the need to draw on both subject and technical the Internet might bring about some form of standardisation
expertise when setting up Web sites. There was an appeal to English usage around the world. Former News Ltd style
for the judicious application of Plain English principles to master Kim Lockwood foresaw a form of English becoming
avoid ideas being dumbed down, and colour, texture, the world language, but Peters was more cautious: the rise
movement and rhythm being lost. Irene Wong, Publishing of India, China and South America could bring competing
Manager for the Australian Securities and Investments languages. It is important to have a reasonably uniform way
Commission, detected a degree of ‘information anxiety’ of speaking English. If any of these things happen,
within large organisations, where complexity meant there tomorrow’s editors are going to have their work cut out.
are ‘many different audiences ... trying to find out what they Peter Fuller

Onscreen editing workshop


Due to the unexpected absence overseas of Steve Neilsen, of saving time and implementing onscreen editing in
we regretfully had to postpone this training day. The new directions nominated by participants.
date is 30 June. We are circulating an email to all those By bringing your own computer, you will be able to
who have registered. There may be some vacancies—if take home the software customisations you develop on
you are interested, contact the Treasurer at the address the day.
below. Cost, $140 members, $180 non members, includes
In this highly interactive session, Clive Huggan and morning and afternoon tea and lunch. Venue: Crosbie
Steve Neilsen will be projecting displays from a PC and a Morrison Building, Australian National Botanic Gardens.
Mac on to side-by-side screens. In this way, users of both Limit: 20 participants.
types of computer will be able to follow a familiar version To enquire about a place, contact the Treasurer at
of Word while Clive and Steve tease out the software’s <swales@earlychildhood.org.au> with the message line
many capabilities. Emphasis will be on practical means ‘April workshop booking’.

page 4
The Canberra Editor Vol 16 • Number 5 • June 2007

Fiddly bits—invoicing Inky’s editing service


Inky Penn & Associates

H
ooray! The job’s done and now ABN: XX XXX XXX XXX
Editing, writing, consulting
it’s time to get paid for it—but
Mail PO Box XXX MyPlace ACT 26— Australia
how? If you’re not used to Phone 02 62— XXXX
sending invoices, and if you’re like me Fax 02 62— XXXX
Email inky@———.com.au
(not good with numbers) and prefer old-
fashioned methods to computerised Tax invoice
financial management, here’s a mock-up Invoice number
157/07/EDIT
invoice that you could adapt to suit
Reference
yourself. My quote dated 4 January 2007 (email)
Date
What are the important elements? 25 June 2007
The name of your editing service, logo if any, contact Client
details, your ABN if you have one, and one line about what Department of Bits and Pieces
Contact
your service provides—perhaps editing, writing, consulting. Joe Blow
The words ‘Tax Invoice’ if you are GST registered, or Communication Unit
Department of Bits and Pieces
just ‘Invoice’ otherwise. PO Box XXX
CANBERRA ACT 2600
The identification number and code for this particular
invoice. The format I use is consecutive number / year / Fees payable for the following services:
_____________________________________________________________________________
code for type of work. So this document would be the 157th To A$*
invoice Inky has ever sent out, this year (2007) is abbreviated Copy-editing Bits’n’Pieces Style, including consultation time
20 hours @ $XX.XX/hr + GST $X.XX/hr = $XXX.XX
to 07, and the job was an edit. You can make up a list of
codes to suit your work: EDIT for all editing jobs, WRTG TOTAL PAYABLE THIS INVOICE (including GST): $XXX.XX
_____________________________________________________________________________
for all writing jobs, and so on. *Please make cheque payable IN AUSTRALIAN CURRENCY to Inky Penn
Next comes the ‘Reference’ where you quote the or direct credit to Inky Penn—(BSB and Account number on request only)
Mail: PO Box XXX, MyPlace ACT 26— Australia
document in which the agreement is—in this example, an Remittance advice please by email or mail
email dated 4 January 2007. And then put the date of this Settlement within 30 days would be appreciated.

invoice—for example, 25 June 2007. After that, THIS COPY


Client …………..……...

I recommend putting in the name of the client (person or Client file………..……..


Central file.…………….
Tax file ………….……..
organisation), and this is followed by the name of the person Pd .. ……………………
Bkd……………………..

designated to receive the invoice—this could be the Form updated 01.01.07

individual you have worked directly to, a project manager, much, but at least you can refer to this request if the client is
or someone in a payments office. Put the full mailing address really tardy about paying.
here. If you are printing this on an envelope, just select the The little box at the bottom is not part of the invoice, but
whole address and it will automatically go into the envelope very handy as a record of where copies of the invoice have
address on your computer. If you are using window gone. Some clients like two copies, so this can be noted.
envelopes, you may want to re-organise the order of the items I keep a separate file for each client, plus a central file as an
so that this address appears in the window. on-going record for the business, and a tax file that my
Then comes the important bit—a brief statement of accountant needs. When payments are received, either by
what work you did, perhaps how many hours it took, plus cheque or electronically, I note the details at the bottom of
your hourly rate, and finally the total payable. If you are that box. I keep these files in hard copy form as well as on
GST registered, you need to show the amount of the GST the computer.
and finally the total, including GST. This is not, by any means, the only way of invoicing. It
If you are working within Australia, and you are GST works for me, and it might work for you. Several colleagues
registered, you add 10 per cent to your basic hourly rate. If have used the format and adapted it to their own needs. It
your client is outside Australia, you do not charge GST at works both as a hard copy invoice for mailing and as an
all—your work is an ‘export’ for this purpose, and exports electronic invoice, sent in or with an email. My accountant
do not attract GST. is happy with it (and I do like to keep him happy!), and
After the total, tell the client how you want to be paid. I have found no reason to alter the format for a number of
I do not recommend putting your bank details in this years. I keep it on my computer, so only need to alter the
invoice—better to ask them to send you a form to complete details of each new job, and make sure the invoice number
or send the details on request. Be aware that there are is updated by one every time. One less fiddly bit to have to
unscrupulous people everywhere, and do not give an fiddle with.
opportunity for someone to gain unlawful access to your © Elizabeth Manning Murphy, 2007
bank account. Finally, I like to get a remittance advice from emmurphy@ozemail.com.au
the client, by email or mail, and I always tell them that I’d
like to be paid within 30 days. I’m not sure that it helps
page 5
The Canberra Editor Vol 16 • Number 5 • June 2007

Thinking about words—money in the bank


‘I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows ...’
Shakespeare
‘A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove you don’t need it.’
Bob Hope

I
t’s a couple of years since I had thoughts about money The plastic is also largely replacing
in its various shapes and guises (The Canberra Editor, the cheque, and why do we spell it like that? Is it just that
May 2005, ‘Lucrative reflections’), but at that time the French use chèque and we think it more elegant? Our
I didn’t include thoughts about what you might do with it American cousins spell it like it sounds, check, and that’s
and where it might be put. Some recent Big Bills—and how it started—a piece of paper with a counterfoil that the
I make no apologies for upper case!—requiring money drawer kept as proof of payment and to check any possible
shuffled between accounts have made me conscious of how alterations. Your cheque stubs are your checks.
easy it is these days to move money from one place to Cash? Once the word meant the chest or strong box, the
another and kiss it goodbye. All done without leaving the caisse, in which your money or other precious goods were
computer keyboard. But what about the words we use to stored safely. The French for a savings bank is still Caisse
talk about these things? d’Epargne, and the origins of the word again go back to the
Where do you keep your money? Under the mattress? Italian, cassa. meaning not only chest but also ‘a Merchant’s
Piggy bank? Credit union? Bank? A bit here and a bit there? cash or counter’. In English it very early on came to mean
Invested in stocks and shares? And what the contents of the chest rather than the
is the relation between wild thyme and, container—an example of metonymy, a
say. Westpac? Quite close, actually— figure of speech where something is
bank can mean a ‘heap’ or ‘pile’, even a referred to by the name of a related part,
‘mound’ or ‘mount’. If you have made like when the rest of Australia says
your pile, you certainly have an amount disparagingly that Canberra has made
to put in the bank! If not, on your next some unpopular Government decision.
visit to Europe you may need to visit a Your investments also have Italian
pawn shop, in France the mont de piété roots. Invest formerly meant to dress or
and in Italy the monte di pietà, both from clothe, probably rather formally, and
the Latin mons pietatis or mons caritatis, divest to undress or to get rid of.
the ‘bank of piety’ or of ‘charity’. But However from the 17th century on it
don’t expect charity when you redeem acquired its banking connotations. An
your pledge ... early Italian-English dictionary (Florio,
Your bank is a very venerable 1611) has investire ‘... also, to employ
institution, although not always under that name. It certainly or lay out money upon any bargaine for aduantage’, which
goes back to biblical times. When Jesus attacked the money is what we hope for our investments today, although the
changers in the Temple he ‘overthrew their tables’ (Matthew taxman usually then manages to take ‘aduantage’ of us to a
21, 12–13). At the time of the Second Temple Jews were disproportionate extent. We tend to think of the bargain
required to pay half a shekel annually to the Sanctuary, and (‘something you can’t use at a price you can’t miss’) as
the changers operating in the Court of the Gentiles provided something of value we’ve acquired cheaply, although at first
travellers with the correct money, charging up to 8% for the word seemed to focus on the agreement struck between
converting foreign currencies or coins that were religiously two parties, the outcome of bargaining. The OED says sadly,
offensive because they had portraits on them. The tables or ‘the etymology being obscure, the development of meaning
benches that were overthrown were indeed early banks— is also doubtful’. I thought that Ambrose Bierce might have
the word comes from the Italian banca or banco, both had some more enlightened comment on bargains in his
meaning originally a shelf or bench and later a tradesman’s Devil’s Dictionary, but the closest I could find was his
stall or counter. The French picked up banca as banque, definition of compromise:
and Old English had banke. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each
In your bank you keep an account, also with French roots adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he
but stemming from the Latin computum, a calculation. ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what
Modern French is compte. It is no accident that you go to a was justly his due.
counter to get service in the bank. Formerly the counter Many of us who look askance at the banks’ inventiveness
would have been a table on which your money was counted, in finding new charges to slug us with tend to favour credit
and in the early days of shops you would have made your unions. These were an American invention, and an early
purchases at a table behind which the salesperson stood, on description (1881) has them ‘founded and managed by a
which your payment would have been counted. Nowadays warm-hearted humanitarian for the purpose of elevating the
cash registers have changed all that, and even cash is giving moral and material welfare of entire classes of society’.
way to plastic. I have to admit that the one that looks after my tiny capital
page 6
The Canberra Editor Vol 16 • Number 5 • June 2007

seems to sneak in a few more charges from time to time, but In the days before the pig’s umbilical plug was added you
on the whole the philosophy that it exists for the benefit of had the choice of fiddling the coins out one by one on the
its members seems to persist. Certainly it claims that ‘we’re blade of a skillfully inserted knife blade or smashing the
committed to enhancing your financial well-being in a pig with a hammer. Either way, the little pigs taught
socially responsible way’. That word credit, by the way, is generations of children the virtues of frugality—or the
all to do with belief (credo or creed) and trust. Credit is heady excitement and instant rewards of breaking and
something entrusted to you because your credit is good. entering.
A piggy bank? Piggy banks, whether plain or patterned, Or under the mattress... Modern French has matelas and
certainly look cute. But the origin of the name is not what Italian materasso, but it seems to have its roots in Arabic,
you might expect. In medieval times, pygg referred to a type where al-matrah means a place where something is thrown,
of clay used for making household objects, such as jars. in this instance mats or cushions. A comfortable point at
These would have been used for various purposes, such as which to stop.
storing salt, then an expensive commodity. What more Peter Judge
natural than to hide your savings in one of these kitchen
pots and jars, a pygg jar. By the 18th Century, the spelling Sources: As always, the Oxford English Dictionary on CD v. 3.0
of pygg had changed, the pygg jar used for your spare cash and the Encyclopaedia Britannica 2006 on DVD. The Oxford
became your pig bank, and in due course both the name and Companion to the Bible (1993). The happy little pig is actually a
the container evolved to the piggy bank beloved by children. German Sparschwein, from Wikipedia.

CSE exhibits genius at its May meeting

A
splendid opportunity to show off Machine. Where was The Naked Lunch, Basham’s The
and a clutch of inviting prizes Wonder That Was India, The Road to Oxiana, Robert
were the lures for the May Graves’ Goodbye to All That, The Iliad or something by
meeting. It was what has become the Tim Winton? But these selections are all subjective aren’t
annual quiz night and the attendance was they?
gratifying, with the femmes, and at least And didn’t we have a good time under the watchful eyes
one Garçon, arriving in a variety of moods, of those Tennysons and their Irish wolfhounds?
from the light-hearted to the transparently Lee Kirwan
competitive.
The ice-breaker came as we were downing mugs of PS. Brian O’Donnell posted a stunning score, just ahead of
delicious, mind-improving soup: How many editors does it the pack, and was acknowledged as the genius of the
take to change a light bulb? A number of witty answers were evening. I succumbed to mediocrity (typifying ‘the living
offered but I think most of us finally applauded the death of the middle classes’, as Baroness Blixen so astutely
convoluted effort by Dallas Wilson—that amazingly gifted put it), escaping both brilliance and disgrace. Ann
public service writer—if only to bring it to whatever Parkinson, who organised the swell event, was the overall
conclusion he was attempting to reach. winner and deserves our thanks in bunches.
The ‘Weird Words’ section was fun (What is an arse-
foot? What item of clothing is called the ‘indescribables’?),
the ‘Vocabulary’ section relatively easy (though syzygy and Coming attractions
zydeco caused frissons), the ‘Proverbs’ section impossible
(from my point of view) as was ‘Last Lines of Well-Known Future monthly meetings will include:
Books’ (apart from ‘Amen’—due to an endless Protestant July: AGM at National Library
upbringing, I knew that one).
August: Marion Halligan (author) and her editor
‘Editors and Editing’ was comforting and familiar, Roseanne Fitzgibbon
especially the introductory epithet by T S Eliot, ‘Some
editors are failed writers, but so are most writers’, a lovely September: Mark Baker, editor of the Canberra Times
little pearl that I have satisfyingly repeated to myself on October: Lindy Shultz will discuss her experiences of
more than one occasion when dealing with a particularly copyright
imperious but not overly gifted author.
‘First Sentences’ was the last gasp as far as I was November: End-of-year dinner at Poacher’s Pantry, Hall,
concerned. There, staring sensibly back at me, were with bus tranport to and from
examples from all those classics read and mostly forgotten February 2008: Janet Salisbury, Biotext, will speak about
so long ago: Northanger Abbey, Jane Eyre, The Time science editing (a reprise of her conference paper)

page 7
The Canberra Editor Vol 16 • Number 5 • June 2007

The Sentence and stories must be never hurried —


For some years now and, yes, most probably it has
he’s wanted to write Americans, fresh-faced in Europe
a sentence à la Henry James,
back before the First World War,
a sentence of some length, mais oui, consorting with La Belle Époque,
with several subtle or something rather like it,
subordinate clauses
where money’s rarely any problem
and certain sly parentheses, and you, dear reader, in due course,
inserted as required, will find you’ve somehow come to care
a sentence that will share the weather
for these sweet mannequins of mine
and, on its way, be light with thought, who, starting from a well-made phrase,
a tone detached but can stroll for days in sentences
dense with gossip,
as sinuous as air.
a sound that says: Surrender now
this precious fortnight of your life,
I have a story here for you — Geoff Page, from Agnostic Skies
(Five Islands Press, 2006)

Contents The Canberra Editor


Next meeting 1 is published by Canberra Society of Editors,
From the President 1 PO Box 3222, Manuka ACT 2603.
Committee members 2006–07 2 © Canberra Society of Editors 2007. ISSN 1039-3358
IPEd notes June 2007 2
Annual General Meeting, 26 July 2 Newsletter schedule
The IPEd national conference 3 The next newsletter will appear in July 2007 and the
Onscreen editing workshop 4 copy deadline for this issue is 6 July.
Fiddly bits—invoicing 5 The editor welcomes contributions by email to
Thinking about words—money in the bank 6 <peter.judge@bigpond.com>, using Word for Windows,
for PC or Mac.
CSE exhibits genius at its May meeting 7
Coming attractions
The Sentence, poem by Geoff Page
7
8
New members May 2007
New members 8 Canberra Society of Editors welcomes as new full members
Virginia Cooke and Tiffany Henderson.

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