I received a proofreading request from my old (but young) colleague today. His email opened with standard salutation Dear Doctor Mara. That’s about right, but three months later, I still giggle and blush when addressed by my title. Classic imposter syndrome.
The text submitted for proofreading horrified me. Not by the amount of errors, but by a lack of them. On page four, I still couldn’t find anything amiss at all. It was frustrating because I know that no text exists that wouldn’t require proofreading. I started to suspect that I turned blind.
Fifteen pages later, though, everything was alright. The text proved to provide a satisfactory harvest of inconsistent capitalisation, missing italics, misplaced commas and messed up alphabetisation. With relief, I returned the proofread text at 2:17 am because my colleague, unlike my former students, never suspects that I’m drunk emailing when I send a message in the middle of the night.
On this pleasant note, I’m paying tribute to fellow night-shift workers (including illicit moonlighters, which is my case) and particularly to my colleague Richard (name changed). I would marry him solely for his knowledge of Chicago Style (though lesser than mine), if he weren’t gay.