Heh, heh. Well, not really. But in the spirit of Spike Milligan, one could say that the last six months, during which I’ve been working at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) as an editor, have well and truly opened my eyes to what’s goin’ ahn in this crazy, mixed up world.
Before I started work at SIPRI, I’d had a few editing jobs, but for the most part I’d been the only editor, or at least the only ‘native speaker’ (don’t get me started on how much I hate this term) in the office. The big difference now is that I’m part of a larger team of editors. The obvious benefit of this arrangement is that my work is checked by other (read: more experienced) editors; as a consequence, my work improves.
It’s also been interesting to rediscover my inner pedant, especially when it comes to fascinating questions of punctuation. I used to be a real ‘Hyphens, n-dashes and m-dashes? … meh’ kind of guy. No longer. I’ve even caught myself adding chevrons to URLs in non-work-related situations (and I also suspect my hyphen usage just then could have been better).
Image: a box o’ fresh copies o’ SIPRI Yearbook 2012.
Anyway, enough about me (oh, but one last thing: colons vs semi-colons? … ah, whatever). This post was supposed to be all about SIPRI Yearbook 2012 and its part in my downfall but since (like Elton John) Iiiiiiiii’m still standing, I guess I’ll just have to take another tack.
I can safely say that the Yearbook is the biggest and most sophisticated publication I’ve ever been involved in putting together, and that being one of its editors has offered me a brief glimpse into the amount of effort it takes to produce an annual compendium of the world’s military spending and other assorted hi-jinks.
I may sound like a spruiker but its absolutely chock-full of factoids, and most of it makes for pretty grim reading. Here’s one factlet FYI, and just to whet your appetite:
Makes you think, doesn’t it?