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  • I have spent the past 38 years trying to be invisible.

    譯者: Nan Liu 審譯者: Jin Wu

  • I'm a copy editor.

    我用過去38年的時間 試圖將自己隱藏起來。

  • I work at The New Yorker,

    我是文字編輯人員。

  • and copyediting for The New Yorker is like playing shortstop

    我在《紐約客》工作,

  • for a Major League Baseball team:

    為《紐約客》做文字編輯就像是

  • every little movement gets picked over by the critics --

    在一支職業大聯盟棒球隊 中做游擊手一樣:

  • God forbid you should commit an error.

    每個小小的舉動 都會被評論家挑出來評論 -

  • Just to clarify: copy editors don't choose what goes into the magazine.

    上帝禁止你犯錯。

  • We work at the level of the sentence,

    需要解釋一下:文字編輯人員 無權選擇什麼內容會被收入雜誌。

  • maybe the paragraph,

    我們專注於句子的修改,

  • the words, the punctuation.

    也可能是段落,

  • Our business is in the details.

    字詞,標點符號。

  • We put the diaeresis, the double dot, over the "i" in "naïve."

    我們的工作注重於細節。

  • We impose house style.

    我們把分音符,那兩個點, 放在單詞“naïve”中的“i”上。

  • Every publication has a house style.

    我們進行版面風格設計。

  • The New Yorker's is particularly distinctive.

    每份出版物都有一種 版面風格設計。

  • We sometimes get teased for our style.

    《紐約客》的設計尤其特別。

  • Imagine -- we still spell "teen-ager" with a hyphen,

    我們有時候因為 我們的風格而被取笑。

  • as if that word had just been coined.

    想像一下 - 我們在拼寫"teen-ager" 的時候仍帶有連字符,

  • But you see that hyphen in "teen-age"

    就好像那個單詞 剛被創造出來一樣。

  • and that diaeresis over "coöperate,"

    但是當你看見"teen-ager" 中的連字符

  • and you know you're reading The New Yorker.

    和"coöperate"中的分音符的時候,

  • Copyediting at The New Yorker is a mechanical process.

    你知道你正在閱讀《紐約客》。

  • There is a related role called query proofreading,

    《紐約客》的文字編輯 是死板的。

  • or page-OK'ing.

    有一個相關的崗位叫作校準,

  • Whereas copyediting is mechanical,

    或是版面完美化。

  • query proofreading is interpretive.

    雖然文字編輯是機械的,

  • We make suggestions to the author through the editor

    但是校準是需要靈活應變的。

  • to improve the emphasis of a sentence

    我們通過主編向作者提出建議

  • or point out unintentional repetitions

    以便提高句子的重點

  • and supply compelling alternatives.

    或是指出非刻意的重複

  • Our purpose is to make the author look good.

    並且提供有專業水準 的其它選擇。

  • Note that we give our proofs not directly to the author,

    我們的目的是 讓這個作者看起來完美。

  • but to the editor.

    請注意我們不是直接 把我們的校對本給作者,

  • This often creates a good cop/bad cop dynamic

    而是給編輯。

  • in which the copy editor -- I'll use that as an umbrella term --

    這經常帶來一種”好警察、 壞警察”的動態循環

  • is invariably the bad cop.

    在這其中,文字編輯人員 我將用它最為一個總稱

  • If we do our job well, we're invisible,

    永遠都是壞警察。

  • but as soon as we make a mistake,

    如果我們的工作做得好, 我們不會被人察覺,

  • we copy editors become glaringly visible.

    但是我們一旦犯錯,

  • Here is the most recent mistake that was laid at my door.

    我們文字編輯人員 就會格外引人注目。

  • [Last Tuesday, Sarah Palin, the pre-Trump embodiment

    這是我最近一次犯的錯。

  • of populist no-nothingism in the Republican Party,

    「上個星期二,莎拉裴琳, 在川普之前就表現出

  • endorsed Trump.]

    民粹‘不可知論’ 特質的共和黨成員,

  • "Where were The New Yorker's fabled copy editors?" a reader wrote.

    表示支持川普。」

  • "Didn't the writer mean 'know-nothingism'?"

    “《紐約客》著名的文字編輯人員 在哪裡?“一位讀者寫到。

  • Ouch.

    難道作者不是想寫 ‘不可知論’ 嗎?

  • There's no excuse for this mistake.

    哎呦。

  • But I like it: "no-nothingism."

    沒辦法為這個錯誤找藉口了。

  • It might be American vernacular for "nihilism."

    但是我喜歡這個單詞:“no-nothingism”。

  • (Laughter)

    它可能在美國俚語中代表 “虛無主義”

  • Here, another reader quotes a passage from the magazine:

    (笑聲)

  • [Ruby was seventy-six, but she retained her authoritative bearing;

    這有另一位讀者從 雜誌上摘錄的語錄:

  • only her unsteady gait belied her age.]

    「魯比76歲,但是她保持著 權威性的舉止;

  • He added:

    只有她不穩的步伐 掩飾了她的年齡。」

  • "Surely, someone at The New Yorker knows the meaning of 'belied,'

    他補充道:

  • and that it is the opposite of how it is used in this sentence.

    “當然,在《紐約客》工作的人 知道‘belied’的意思是什麼,

  • Come on! Get it together."

    也知道這個句子中用的 應該是和它相反的意思。

  • Belie: to give a false impression.

    喂,請集中精力!”

  • It should have been "betrayed."

    百利:證明...是錯的。

  • E.B. White once wrote of commas in The New Yorker:

    正確的用詞應該是 “暴露”。

  • "They fall with the precision of knives outlining a body."

    艾爾文·布魯克斯·懷特曾經 在《紐約客》中寫過關於逗號的評論:

  • (Laughter)

    “它們用刀的精確度 勾勒出身體的輪廓。”

  • And it's true -- we get a lot of complaints about commas.

    (笑聲)

  • "Are there really two commas in 'Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard'?"

    這是真的 , 我們有太多 關於逗號的抱怨。

  • There may not be on the sign, but yes, that is New Yorker style for "Jr."

    “在馬丁,路德金Jr, 波樂瓦德' 這個名字中真的有兩個逗號嗎?”

  • One wag wrote:

    在‘Jr.’後面可能沒有逗號, 但是《紐約客》中的"Jr."是有逗號的。

  • ["Please, could you expel, or, at least, restrain,

    有個喜歡開玩笑的人寫道:

  • the comma-maniac, on your editorial staff?"]

    「拜託,可以請你開除, 或者,至少限制

  • (Laughter)

    你們編輯人員中的 逗號狂熱份子嗎?」

  • Ah, well.

    (笑聲)

  • In this case, those commas are well-placed,

    嗯,好吧。

  • except that there should not be one

    在這個例子中, 逗號用的很好,

  • between "maniac" and "on."

    除了逗號不應該用在

  • (Laughter)

    "瘋子"和"之上"之間。

  • Also, if we must have commas around "at least,"

    (笑聲)

  • we might change it up by using dashes around that phrase:

    還有,如果我們必須要在 "至少"前後用逗號,

  • "... -- or, at least, restrain --"

    我們可以稍做修改,在那個短語 附近加上破折號:

  • Perfect.

    "... -- 或,至少, 抑制 --"

  • (Applause)

    完美。

  • Then there's this:

    (掌聲)

  • "Love you, love your magazine,

    然後還有這樣一條留言:

  • but can you please stop writing massive numbers as text?"

    “喜歡你們,喜歡你們的雜誌,

  • [two and a half million ...]

    但是可以請你們不再用文字 來表述龐大的數字嗎?

  • No.

    「二百五十萬...」

  • (Laughter)

    沒錯。

  • One last cri de coeur from a spelling stickler:

    (笑聲)

  • ["Those long stringy things are vocal cords, not chords."]

    最後一份來自一位 拼寫執著者的抱怨:

  • The outraged reader added,

    「“那些細長的東西是聲帶, 不是和弦」

  • "I'm sure I'm not the first to write

    那個生氣的讀者補充道,

  • regarding this egregious proofreading error,

    “我確信我不是第一個 寫信抱怨

  • but I'm equally sure I won't be the last.

    這個嚴重的校對錯誤的人,

  • Fie!"

    但是我同樣確信 我不會是最後一個。

  • (Laughter)

    太糟糕了!“

  • I used to like getting mail.

    (笑聲)

  • There is a pact between writers and editors.

    我曾經喜歡收信件。

  • The editor never sells out the writer,

    作家和編輯之間有協定。

  • never goes public about bad jokes that had to be cut

    編輯永遠不會出賣作家,

  • or stories that went on too long.

    永遠不會讓必須刪減的 不良笑話

  • A great editor saves a writer from her excesses.

    或者是太長的故事 公佈於眾。

  • Copy editors, too, have a code;

    優秀的編輯可以讓 作家免於贅述。

  • we don't advertise our oversights.

    文字編輯人員也有規範;

  • I feel disloyal divulging them here,

    我們不公布無心的錯誤。

  • so let's have look at what we do right.

    我因為在這裡公佈它們 而感到不忠,

  • Somehow, I've gotten a reputation for sternness.

    所以讓我們看看 我們應該做什麼。

  • But I work with writers who know how to have their way with me.

    不知為什麼, 我因為嚴苛出名。

  • I've known Ian Frazier, or "Sandy," since the early 80s.

    但是我與那些知道如何 和我相處的作家共事。

  • And he's one of my favorites,

    我從80年代初就認識 伊恩·弗雷澤,或者是“桑迪”了。

  • even though he sometimes writes a sentence

    他是我最喜歡的作家之一,

  • that gives a copy editor pause.

    儘管他有時會寫

  • Here is one from a story about Staten Island

    讓文字編輯人員 難以抉擇的句子。

  • after Hurricane Sandy:

    這有一個關於史坦頓島的故事

  • [A dock that had been broken in the middle and lost its other half

    發生在颶風桑迪之後:

  • sloped down toward the water,

    「一個被攔腰折斷並 丟失了一半的船塢

  • its support pipes and wires leaning forward

    滑落到了水中,

  • like when you open a box of linguine and it slides out.]

    它的支撐管和電線 向前傾斜

  • (Laughter)

    就像是你打開一盒義大利 扁麵條時,麵條滑出來一樣。」

  • This would never have got past the grammarian in the days of yore.

    (笑聲)

  • But what could I do?

    這個句子在多年以前是 不會被語法學家批准的。

  • Technically, the "like" should be an "as,"

    但是我能做什麼呢?

  • but it sounds ridiculous,

    嚴格來說,單詞"比如" 應該 換成"如同",

  • as if the author were about to embark on an extended Homeric simile --

    但是那聽起來很荒唐,

  • "as when you open a box of linguine."

    就好像作者要使用一個 很長的荷馬式比喻 -

  • (Laughter)

    “就像當你打開一盒 義大利扁麵條時。”

  • I decided that the hurricane conferred poetic justice on Sandy

    (笑聲)

  • and let the sentence stand.

    我斷定颶風給桑迪 帶來了應有的懲罰

  • (Laughter)

    並決定讓那個句子 保持原樣。

  • Generally, if I think something is wrong,

    (笑聲)

  • I query it three times.

    通常來說,如果我覺得 有哪裡不對,

  • I told Sandy that not long ago in a moment of indiscretion and he said,

    我會質疑三次。

  • "Only three?"

    不久之前,在一次不審慎的談話中, 我把那個原則告訴了桑迪,然後他說,

  • So, he has learned to hold out.

    “只是三次?”

  • Recently, he wrote a story for "Talk of the Town,"

    就這樣,他學會了不妥協。

  • that's the section at the front of the magazine

    最近,他為「街談巷議」 寫了一個故事,

  • with short pieces on subjects ranging from Ricky Jay's exhibit

    那是在雜誌封面的一版

  • at the Metropolitan Museum

    帶有關於一些話題的短文, 從雷基傑伊

  • to the introduction of doggie bags in France.

    在大都會藝術博物館的展覽

  • Sandy's story was about the return to the Bronx

    到法國推出食物袋。

  • of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

    桑迪的故事是關於

  • There were three things in it that I had to challenge.

    最高法院大法官索尼婭· 索托馬尼爾回到布魯克斯的。

  • First, a grammar query.

    那個故事中有三樣東西 我不得不質疑。

  • The justice was wearing black and Sandy wrote,

    首先,語法的質疑。

  • [Her face and hands stood out like in an old, mostly dark painting.]

    那個法官穿著黑色的衣服, 然後桑迪寫道,

  • Now, unlike with the hurricane,

    「她的臉和手凸顯出來,像 在一幅很舊,幾乎黑暗的畫中。」

  • with this "like," the author didn't have the excuse

    這次,和颶風那次不一樣,

  • of describing hurricane damage.

    使用這個“像”, 作者沒有

  • "Like" in this sense is a preposition, and a preposition takes an object,

    描述颶風災害的藉口了。

  • which is a noun.

    “像”在這裡是一個介詞, 介詞後面必須要有賓語,

  • This "like" had to be an "as."

    也就是一個名詞。

  • "As in an old, mostly dark painting."

    這裡的“比如”應該用“如同”。

  • Second, a spelling issue.

    "如同一副老舊的黑暗的畫."

  • The author was quoting someone who was assisting the justice:

    第二,拼寫問題。

  • ["It will be just a minute.

    作者引用了一位 法官助手的語錄:

  • We are getting the justice mic'ed,"]

    「就一分鐘。

  • Mic'ed?

    我們會讓公正發聲。」

  • The music industry spells it "mic"

    Mic'ed?

  • because that's how it's spelled on the equipment.

    音樂界把它拼作“mic”

  • I'd never seen it used as a verb with this spelling,

    因為設備上就是這麼拼寫的。

  • and I was distraught to think that "mic'ed"

    我從未見過這種拼寫 方式作為動詞使用,

  • would get into the magazine on my watch.

    而且我一想到那個"mic'ed"

  • (Laughter)

    會出現在我管理的 雜誌中就很心煩。

  • New Yorker style for "microphone" in its abbreviated form is "mike."

    (笑聲)

  • Finally, there was a sticky grammar and usage issue

    在《紐約客》中, "microphone" 的縮寫是"mike"。

  • in which the pronoun has to have the same grammatical number

    最後,有一個棘手的 語法和使用問題,

  • as its antecedent.

    就是那個代詞必須 與它代替的詞

  • [everyone in the vicinity held their breath]

    在語法上保持數的一致。

  • "Their" is plural and "everyone," its antecedent, is singular.

    「附近的每個人都 屏住他們的呼吸。」

  • You would never say, "Everyone were there."

    “他們的”是複數,而它對應的 “每個人”是單數。

  • Everyone was there. Everyone is here.

    你從不會說, “每個人都在那。”

  • But people say things like, "Everyone held their breath" all the time.

    每個人都在那。 每個人都在這。

  • To give it legitimacy,

    但是人們一直這樣表達, “每個人都屏住他們的呼吸”。