Copyedits are an interesting stage of the editing process. The editor this time is looking at your grammar. And it can be painful. SO painful.
Basically, they’re paid to nitpick. They’re paid to do the thing your English teacher in HS did…tell you everywhere you go wrong.
Now I have to admit, I have some serious grammar deficiencies.
1) I can’t figure out capitalization rules. I’m terrible with this*, and have a tendency to just accept everything the copy editor says because…..I honestly don’t know what’s correct. The harder I think about it, the more confused I get.
2) Weird verb pairs. Awoke/woke….ensure/assure….might/may. I consistently get some verb choices wrong. I do, however, have a pretty good grasp on lie/lay!
3) For some reason that I cannot explain, I often use British spellings. Although I usually catch it, a single grey got past my internal monitor this time. I also got dinged on ax/axe. ::sighs:: (Also see capitalization above, which I originally spelled as capitalisation.)
4) I -almost- have whom down (thanks to HS German class), but occasionally get one wrong. And in general I struggle with the accusative case.
5) Then there are the commas. My husband jokingly calls me the comma splice queen. I love my commas, I admit.
6) The subjunctive eats my shorts. SO BAD. (In college French I was taught this as the Jolie Petite Subjuntif….I honestly don’t recall ever being taught the subjunctive in English.)
So my copyeditor always has their work cut out for them! And as much as the process drives me batty, I do really appreciate their work ;o)
(FYI, they also take out the use of ‘their’ and ‘one’ as non-specific singular pronouns. This CE substituted ‘he’ for all of those, but I did change some to ‘she’, given the constraints of a female-dominated society.)
*I actually meant to include an apology to my editor for that in the book that I just turned in, where I haven’t even figured out my OWN capitalization rules…much less those of the real world.