Proofreading Jewish Texts

As I finish up the editing for my third draft, I’m getting into some of the picky bits.

  • When is it “eighth grade” vs. “eighth-grade”?
  • “First born,” “first-born,” or “firstborn”?
  • Do I capitalize “ark”? What about “mishkan”?
First galley proof of A la recherche du temps perdu: Du côté de chez Swann with handwritten revision notes by Marcel Proust (1871 – 1922).

Many of these things are covered in basic style guides. Others are easily Googlable. But some require specialized sources. Let’s start with some sources for standard English language copyediting. Stuff that isn’t specifically Jewish (or religious). Then let’s move into religious copyediting. Expect this list to grow over time.

General Editing Sources

Books or online subscriptions

Online sources

Religious Writing Sources

  • URJ Transliteration Guidelines and Master Word List. Debra Hirsch Corman and Rabbi Hara Person. February 4, 2005. This is a terrific find put together by the Union for Reform Judaism. It has a huge list of English and transliterated words relating to Judaism, showing which ones we capitalize, italicize, etc.
  • When to Capitalize Religious Terms. 19th May 2019. Proofed. A helpful discussion of how to decide which religious terms (mostly Christian and Jewish but with others represented) should be capitalized.
  • Woods Guide to Capitalizing Theological Terms. List of mostly Christian (but some shared Christian and Jewish) terms to capitalize and another list of ones not to capitalize.
Proofreader’s Marks from 1911 Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago Press.

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