Saturday, August 5, 2017

On the Shelf? Or on the Desk? - Reference works for Indexing

I've kept a more or less running list of my indexing-related reference works along with links to reviews for many of them on the Books and Resources for Indexers page here on my blog.

Here, I'm briefly noting the books I've found myself turning to to the most often on the subject, now that I've been indexing for a few years.

Side note as well: When I say "on the desk", for the most part I mean stacked on the floor around my desk-chair where I can reach the book easily. Right now, I've got two such stacks going :)

Indexing Names - Ed. Noeline BridgeI'm going to start with the book Indexing Names  edited by Noeline Bridge. When I'm working, this book spends more time on my desk than on the shelf - to the point where most of the time this book ends up staying on my desk - and I do actually mean "on the desk". I've also ended up buying a second copy in e-book format for times when I'm working away from my desk.

My original review can be found here.

In short, Indexing Names is a compilation of articles from the international journal The Indexer, each of which covers a different aspect of indexing names, be it names from specific cultures, such as Dutch, French, or ancient and medieval names. This is a book I honestly think is one that should be on any indexer's shelf in some form or another.

The Webster's New Biographical Dictionary. Yes, this is an older book and therefore is missing a lot of the newer names - and even quite a few older ones. Still, it's worth having on the shelf. Personally I find it faster to try looking in here first, and only afterwards go online to get answers. Most often I'm using it to find a first name to go with a surname or to find a name to go with a title. Frequently the Webster's New Biographical Dictionary is also useful for sorting out first names from last names so I can then invert for use in the index.

As I noted, this is an older book, and therefore it's pretty inexpensive.

Chicago Manual of Style - 16th EditionThe Chicago Manual of Style. This book covers far more than just how to index, but I must admit that that is the part of the book I use the most often. Right now, I have the 16th edition, but I understand that there is a seventeenth edition coming out in the near future (the beginning of September). Should be interesting to see what kind of changes it suggests for indexing standards.

Most but not all publishers use one of the recent editions of this book to set out their requirements for index formatting, so it's a good idea to have a copy (or more than one for the different versions) on the shelf. Like Indexing Names, which I've mentioned above, the Chicago Manual of Style has sections covering the indexing of names from different languages, titles and all sorts of little details that come up now and again in the process. Different methods of alphabetizing too, to name another example.

Indexing Books - Second Edition - Nancy MulvaneyHowever, my first "go-to" for any indexing-related question is still Nancy Mulvaney's Indexing Books Second Edition. I've reviewed it previously on my blog. From reminders of how to determine index lengths (also known as interpreting the publisher's instructions) to formatting the locators for footnotes and endnotes, she covers most topics related to book indexing thoroughly. There are some areas where updates could be made, however, for the most part, this is still the most thorough and readable book on indexing I've seen to date. This book in conjunction with the Chicago Manual of Style answers about 80-90 percent of my questions (most of the rest are generally software-specific or name-related).

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Signs of Obliviousness

Despite the amusing title, I'm absolutely serious about this one - and furious too!

Really it's two issues, though the second one grows out of the first.

Every time. Every time I am in a park - regional, provincial or national - I see people ignoring the posted signs.

The signs are posted, the area is clearly fenced off - at least from the path side - I'm slightly willing to cut some slack when it comes to people crossing from the other side. The beach continues along past the re-vegetated area with no access paths - but it's not clearly marked from that side. I've managed to do it once without realizing right away. In my defense, I think the tide was coming in pretty quickly too. However, I've also seen people just hop over the fence to go wander in that area - kids chasing the rabbits, or people not wanting to walk all the way back to the proper beach access path from the washrooms. The other day I even saw some people with bicycles on the wrong side of that fence! And if someone confronts a person doing that, they're likely to get told to F*** *** and mind their own business. I've seen that very response - and it makes me feel very uncomfortable about speaking up when I see this kind of behavior.

Inevitably I'll see dogs running freely on the beach, off leash with their owners throwing balls or sticks. Ask them about it and the response is usually "I didn't see the signs". Said signs are placed at every access path. How could you not see them? Perhaps you just didn't want to see them?

Same thing is true for the signs that say "ALL DOGS MUST BE LEASHED".
Or, you'll hear "My dog is well behaved and doesn't need to be on a leash". Which suggests that the owner doesn't think that the rules need to apply to them.

The other one - one I haven't seen in person yet, but have definitely seen evidence for is people ignoring the "NO BICYCLES" signs along the trails. It's kind of hard to disguise the tire-tracks left behind in the mud, so I know this sign is another frequently ignored one.

Those are all bad enough. Here is the one that has me finally going ahead with this rant.

I live in British Columbia. This year we're having a real problem with forest fires all across the province. There's a fire ban in place for nearly all of the province. All the parks have clearly posted signs to say "NO FIRES" and also "NO SMOKING"  at the entries to each trail and also posted along the trails. I was out two days ago enjoying a wonderful hike up in the mountains two days ago - except that as I came along the route back, I was stuck behind a group who insisted on smoking - despite the signs. There were four of them, and only two of us, so I didn't feel comfortable about speaking up. Perhaps I should have anyway. I could see the cigarettes in their hands, and most definitely smell the smoke!

They're not the only ones though. Despite clear announcements of the fire ban, people are still lighting campfires! I just can't fathom the attitude.

Fire Restrictions Ignored By Campers
Ignored Fire Ban and Evac
Some Campers On The B.C. Coast Ignoring Open Fire Ban Despite Interior Wildfires
Campfire Ban Ignored
B.C. officials to investigate after firefighters reportedly breach campfire ban

And those are just a selection of articles on the topic. I just can't understand people sometimes. We're seeing the devastation caused by fires all around the province - not to mention more of them in the USA. It's bad enough when those fires are caused by lightning. There's not a lot we can do about that. But to risk causing more fires through human stupidity?

I sincerely hope that nobody reading this blog condones behavior like this, but I won't apologize for my attitude towards it all.

I am so sick and tired of the obliviousness to clearly posted signs and rules, either because people don't think they should apply to them, or they think they can get away with breaking the rules - sadly this is probably true all too often. I'm tired of it. Tired of going to the beach and seeing the remains of fires. Tired of hearing people in campgrounds stamping around in the brush to find wood to burn - when the rules clearly say it's not allowed. Tired of seeing dogs chasing birds in areas where dogs aren't allowed off leash. Tired of seeing unauthorized trails ground into the parks by people who figure they can just go anywhere they please. I'm tired of it all! And I don't know what can be done about it. 

Or, am I just an old-fashioned kill-joy of a stick in the mud who wants to take away peoples fun when I believe that these rules should be followed? Do we live in a society where rules don't mean anything anymore? Should I simply get used to seeing this kind of behavior and start closing my eyes towards it?  Sometimes I wonder.


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