Tuesday, March 08, 2011



An email arrives and in it is a lovely little present: a simple-yet-interesting project. It looks very straightforward. We'll send you electronic files for a textbook along with a text file of the glossary. You find the words in the text and copy the definitions over into the glossary.

No problem! Estimate: 2 weeks.

The chapter files arrive and I collect them into a Master Document. I open the glossary file and begin to work. Hmm, that's odd. The second and third terms aren't defined in the text. (They're used in the text, just not succinctly defined in one place.) Let's go about this a different way, chapter by chapter. No, that's no better. Chapter 1 list of key terms: the first three are not included in the glossary. Should they be?

So what looked simple is not.

Question 1: How should the glossary be formatted? (Colons? Complete sentences?)
Question 2: Should all the key terms be included in the glossary?
Question 3: if I write my own definitions, is someone checking my work? I admit that this is the fun part: I'm writing, I'm using my college biology and chemistry education, I'm exercising my brain. But I never did take that advanced biochem class and college was a little while ago. What if I'm wrong?

Thinking I might need to revise that project estimate. As long as I can still turn this one around before the baby comes . . .


Barrie said...

It sounds a little like a home improvement project! Those are always more complicated than anticipated. :) Good luck!

Sarahlynn said...

Yes, exactly! "What do you mean you have to replace the entire electrical box?!"