Saturday, August 11, 2007

The proofreading project continues...

I'm nearly done with the proofreading and corrections on the second of the three books I'm trying to get wrapped up. Whew.

It's more or less down to a few fact checks that slipped through the cracks earlier... like... is the payroll and accounting department of a UK government agency called payroll and accounting? Or something else? If something else, what? I'm having a bit of trouble pinning this down to my satisfaction, so if you know, I'd appreciate it if you weighed in. If it matters any, the matter that's messed up is pensions. If it matters any, this is at a fictional British intelligence agency.

While we're on the subject, they do call accountants accountants in the UK, yes? No? Sometimes? Usually? Specifically, would that be what to call those folks who have messed up on the fictional pensions at that fictional government agency?

Next question: In the UK, what is the most likely way someone would refer to King George the Third during a conversation? Or, at least, what are likely ways? It's just in passing, but the storyline has one highly-placed government official saying he sometimes wishes he'd been born in a different era, and when asked if there's a specific era he has in mind, he jokes, "Anything pre-George-Third, I think." Is that acceptable usage in a private chat between good friends? If you're English, does it jar? Would it be better to say pre-George the Third? Or pre-George-Three? What? The gents are probably in their fifties, more or less, if that matters. I'm not interested in this case about how it's best done in written form or in formal circumstances. I'm looking for how people generally refer to that particular monarch in chats. (If you can keep it clean, how do you refer to him in conversation?)

Something else I'm still not sure on for the first book... is Ten Four - meaning Yes, sir!, more or less - an Americanism? More to the point, do Brits ever use the expression? British or not, is it a phrase you've known, or is this the first you've heard of it? For now, we've skirted the issue by replacing it with something else, but... well, it's exactly what I think this fellow would say right then, unless it's an Americanism. (He's trying to be slightly obnoxious, or cute, while giving his best friend a bad time.) Is there a British equivalent that I perhaps just don't know about?

I would like to note here that somebody else is helping check punctuation and grammar. (Just in case you were getting ulcers thinking of me heading up the punctuation and grammar department...)

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