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throughout the entire volume; then the cards or sheets should be collated, alphabetized, and filed for verification.
On general principles it is advisable to avoid making cross-references, for these frequently lead to confusion and save little space. If an entry of the nature of a cross-reference to another entry is worth recording it is at least worthy of direct record. Why send a reader from pillar to post to find what he naturally expects to find, and has the right to find, at first-hand. At the same time, steps should be taken to guard against over indexing, a practise as pernicious as that of under indexing, and a good example of which is cited by Walsh in his “Literary Curiosities." This example is taken from the index to Mivart's “Origin of Human Reason,” and relates to a brief story concerning a cockatoo : Absurd tale about a Cockatoo .
136 Anecdote, absurd one, about a Cockatoo 136 Bathos and a Cockatoo
136 Cockatoo, absurd tale concerning one .
136 Discourse held with a Cockatoo
136 Incredibly absurd tale of a Cockatoo 136 Invalid Cockatoo, absurd tale about
136 Tale about a rational Cockatoo, as asserted 136 Very absurd tale about a Cockatoo .
136 Wonderfully foolish tale about a Cockatoo 136
Such over indexing can not be too emphatically condemned; an item of the kind might be dismissed after a single entry under the word
After the last sheet of the book has been examined for indexing, the index should be put through the process of verification. To guard against all possibility of error, this should be done by the aid of the plate proofs, with the folios of which every entry in the index should be verified, as in the course of printing the pagination is sometimes changed through the addition or deletion of matter. As soon as this work has been completed, the cards or sheets should be pasted on sheets of paper of the same size as the original manuscript, one beneath the other, in strict alphabetical order. This matter may then be used as copy, and sent to the printer for composition.
Some authors, having compiled the copy for their index from pages in course of revision, have been known to leave the matter of verification until they receive galley-proofs of the index, a course which often leads to a large number of costly corrections. This practise the author who seeks to foster his interests will not follow.
In general, works of fiction not based on history need no more than a table of contents, but all other books, especially such as treat of human
activities, of the sciences, of history, of biography, etc., should be freely indexed, for to such works an index is the finger-post that guides the reader through the maze of thought into which the whole fabric is woven; it is more necessary than a contents, and more important than even a preface.
Excepting the greater part of fiction, all books that are worth the writing and the printing are entitled to a good index.
In printing, a proof is a printed trial sheet showing the contents or condition of matter in type, or of an electrotype or stereotype plate, engraved block, or the like, either with or without marked corrections. First second, third, etc., proofs designate proofs of a work in its progress toward completion.
An author's proof is a clear proof for revision or correction by an author, or a proof returned by him on which he has made his corrections,
His manuscripts, as well as his proofs, were commonly so disfigured by corrections as to be read with difficulty even by those familiar with his script,” wrote John Bigelow of William Cullen Bryant, and it might be as truly said of thousands of writers who preceded or succeeded him. No department adds so quickly to the cost of producing a book as that of correction, for the work of correcting is time work, and, therefore, is paid for by the time it takes. Every author should so prepare his copy as to minimize this charge.
The manner in which correction-marks are made on a proof is of great importance in the saving of time. Time saved is money saved to the author, who may save time by writing his corrections neatly and clearly. Straggling, unsymmetrical characters, disconnected marks placed in the margins above or below the lines to which they relate, irregular lines leading from an incorrect letter or word to a correction, large marks, marks made with a blunt pencil, indistinct marks, and the frequent use of an eraser to obliterate marks hastily or incorrectly made, are all faults to be avoided. Corrections so made are not respected by the compositor, and he is frequently annoyed and delayed in deciphering what is intended. In reading proof the corrector should take advantage of white space as near as possible to the error and place the correction thereon, thus aiding all who have occasion to handle the proof afterward.
TYPOGRAPHICAL MARKS EXEMPLIFIED
To indicate alterations to be made in the type, place in the margin of the proof marks corresponding to those placed where the corrections are to be made. Make these marks clearly and