I am very pleased to announce a new edition of A Guide to English Language Usage. It is currently at the printers (Publidisa) and should be available in mid-February.
It contains quite a lot that is new. The two-column format of the previous edition has been abandoned. Surprisingly perhaps, the columns made the book smaller so having a full-page format increased the size. However, the table of contents has been reduced to top-level article headings (16 pages was really too much). The use of a full page also makes it possible to incorporate illustrations. Well, why not? Why shouldn’t a book for grown-ups have pictures in it? The new edition is printed on 80gm paper so it is lighter than the previous edition, which was on 90gm paper. But, oddly again, it is thicker because the heavier paper was coated.
I have added the following articles:
aid & AIDS, below & under, bleed & blood, -cester, coma & comma, conductor, death, disease & illness, Edinburgh, feed & food, -ish, judgement, lime, means, minutes, oft, so-called, and straight & strait.
The new edition has
- 422 pages
- 952 articles
- Either 189,437 or 192,294 words depending on which display in Microsoft Word I should believe
- 69 line drawings by Alison Litherland.
The copy-editing was a tremendous job, especially because I was delayed for a fortnight for reasons beyond my control. But it went off on Tuesday just one day after my self-imposed deadline. I had to set a deadline because Lavengro Books will be at the TESOL Spain Convention in March and obviously I want to sell it there.
An ebook version will be available soon, in time for TESOL Spain I hope. The only hold-up is that I haven’t got the ISBN. I applied for it in mid-December. The problem will not only be the holidays. As of 1 January the Spanish ISBN agency is being privatised (currently it’s part of the Ministry of Culture) and no doubt there is bureaucratic upheaval there.
Naturally, there was a last-minute panic. Almost at the very end of the checking, Word crashed. When I restarted it I noticed in a run-through that a picture wasn’t showing; it was a perfect and absolute blank! Some others were OK but others weren’t. I opened a previous version thinking that I would copy a good version of the image. But that was no good because the other file had the same problem. Bad news! Something had happened to my system, not just the file that had crashed. Was there something wrong with my graphics card, I wondered. On examination I found that if I rotated the picture it showed during the rotation, also that it showed in page read view and printed properly. Then I worked out that the pictures that didn’t show were inline, and the others, the ones that have text wrapped round them, were all right. I went to Google and found that this is apparently a common problem.
On this website I found the solution.
Click the Office Button (it’s in the upper left corner of Word), select “Word Options”, select “Advanced” in the left pane, scroll down to the “Show document content” subsection, and uncheck the “Show picture placeholders” option. Yes, it’s that simple. Somehow, when Word crashes, this option can get turned on all by itself. It’s really annoying because there’s no clue that Word is intentionally hiding images from you; it just feels like a bug. And the reason for this insane option?
That’s right, it’s for performance. And it improves performance only at the expense of severely crippling usability. You’d think this option should never be able to get turned on accidentally, yet there it is. At least you know the solution now.
The post has 187 messages, mostly just saying thanks. I was more than willing to add my own.