Doing the right thing by the author and the reader

Over the last week, we’ve had a riveting discussion on the ISC-L forum.

It started because a Canadian indexer was indexing a book on racism in the US, and had asked an American indexer for advice on approaching the language. For the benefit of ISC-L forum readers, the American indexer posted the very useful guidance that she gave to the Canadian indexer.

That post started a flood of comments about our struggles in indexing books that deal with difficult issues.

We really want to do the right thing by the author and the reader.

As indexer Alicia Peres put it very eloquently:

As indexers, we are acutely aware that our work comes at the end of the publication process, and we must deal with the text as it has been written. Yet, in dealing with the terms readers are likely to look for, we are not without influence, both in educating readers through terminology and in how we select and word index listings.

Alicia wrote these words not for the forum, but in her invitation to Gregory Younging, a Member of Opsakwayak Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba, the Indigenous Studies Program Coordinator at University of British Columbia Okanagan, and author of “Elements of Indigenous Style.”

And that is how she convinced Dr. Younging to come to Winnipeg to speak at our conference.

Learn first-hand from an author who has thought deeply about language when you come to the ISC/SCI conference on June 8-9.

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