Words Into Type (Anglais) Broché – 3 mai 1974
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Simply put, Word into Type covers everything there was to say about making a book in the 1970s, from manuscript structure, to copyediting, to grammar points, to references and indexes (yes, I meant that instead of "indices"), to details of how manuscript review works from draft to galley to proof. Most of that information is the same today, as books, English grammar, and style are mostly the same. The quaint bits about things like leading (spacing and bars used in old typesetting) are interesting and detract very little. I'd say about 90% of the content is applicable today -- and since it is over 500 pages, that's a lot.
Compared to the Chicago guide, Word into Type is more comprehensive on the process and more readable. It serves as less of a reference than the Chicago guide and does not answer every question about every kind of academic citation. Thus, I find that the two work well together.
Here's an example. Last night I read the section on how to make an index, which is something I need to do soon for a project. Skillin explains how and why to do this starting from the page proofs, which is something I've been told before with the explanation why. She then suggests using index cards -- OK, that's quaint and probably not applicable today -- and then proceeds into superb guidance on exactly how to construct a useful index and tips on many of the kinds of points that will come up (e.g., which words to lead, how to index multiple page sections, and so forth). Overall, some of that is applicable to my project and some is not, but she gives enough of the overall context and structure of the task -- most of which has not changed in 40 years -- that I learned a lot and will be better prepared.
Having said that, don't expect it to read like a novel or a popular book about grammar. It is a reference, albeit one that is more narrative and enjoyable than most. I use Words into Type mostly as a book I love to browse and read sections randomly, whereas I only look at the Chicago guide when I need a specific style point. I'm considering to order more copies to give to writer friends.
"Prentice-Hall cancelled the contract years ago, and even after that, the title appeared on Amazon, P-H listings, and even had an ISBN number. There is no 4th edition as far as I know. Sorry to disappoint you."
Why on earth would Prentice-Hall have canceled the contract? Maybe we should start a campaign to get this new edition published. Surely there's a readership for it!