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is the rectifying of such errors in the types as the compositor may have made, and any defects in the workmanship; it also includes making such alterations as the author, on examining the proof sheets, may think necessary.

The German printers have an implement, made of wood, similar to the back and bottom of a composing stick, in which they gather the corrections, and place it with them in it on the form, without risk of injuring the types, leaving their hands free from incumbrance. This appears to be an improvement on our practice, which is, when the corrections are numerous, to gather them in a composing stick, and place it on the face of the form, for convenience of having them close at hand; this should be avoided, and neither metal, nor any other article that is likely to injure the types or an engraving, should ever be laid on the face of the letter.

German Correcting Tool
German Correcting Tool Enlarge

The French and the Italians employ a pair of tweezers for picking the wrong letters out of the form, by which they avoid injuring the letter with the bodkin; but there is a bodkin attached to the other end, to use when necessary. They say this is superior to our method of taking out the wrong letter with a bodkin, and executed more readily. In fact, with us there is frequent injury done by the inexperienced or careless workman in using the bodkin: the letter is often injured that is drawn out; if the bodkin is not very sharp, it occasionally slips and spoils the face of six or seven adjoining letters; and, by its injudicious use, the next letter, under the blade of the bodkin, is often rendered useless.

Correcting Tweezers
Correcting Tweezers used in France and Italy Enlarge

The specimen below shows the manner of marking the corrections in a proof. The following is an explanation of the marks therein used, which will enable a gentleman who has to superintend a work through the press to correct the proof sheets in a way that will be clearly understood by the printer, and will tend to promote correctness, by preventing those mistakes that occasionally occur owing to his not comprehending all the marks on the proof.

Where a word is to be changed from small letters to capitals draw three lines under it, and write caps. in the margin.

  1. The substitution of a capital for a small letter.
  2. The marks for turned commas, which designate extracts or quotations.
  3. The insertion of a hyphen.
  4. The substitution of a small letter for a capital.
  5. To change one word for another.
  6. To take away a superfluous letter or word, the pen is struck through it and a round topped d made opposite, being the contraction of the word dele, do thou expunge.
  7. A letter turned upside down.
  8. The insertion of a word or letter.
  9. The substitution of a comma for another point, or for a letter put in by mistake.
  10. The substitution of a; for another point.
  11. When words are to be transposed, two ways of marking them are shown; but they are not usually numbered, unless more than three words have their order changed.
  12. When a paragraph commences where it is not intended, connect the matter by a line, and write in the margin opposite run on.
  13. To draw the letters of a word close together that stand apart.
  14. The marks for a new paragraph.
  15. The substitution of a period or a colon for any other point. It is customary to encircle these two points with a line.
  16. Where a space or a quadrat stands up and appears, draw a line under it, and make a strong perpendicular line in the margin.
  17. Where there is a wrong letter, draw the pen through that letter, and make the right one opposite in the margin.
  18. The transposition of letters in a word.
  19. The mark for a space where it has been omitted between two words.
  20. The manner of marking an omission, or an insertion, when it is too long to be written in the side margin. When this occurs it may be done either at the top or the bottom of the page.
  21. When one or more words have been struck out, and it is subsequently decided that they should remain, make dots under them, and write the word stet in the margin.
  22. When a letter of a different size from that used, or of a different face, appears in a word, draw a line either through it or under it, and write opposite w.f., for wrong fount.
  23. Marks when the letters in a word do not stand even.
  24. Marks when lines do not appear straight.
  25. The mark for the insertion of an apostrophe.

Where a word has to be changed from Roman to Italic draw a line under it, and write Ital. in the margin; and where a word has to be changed from Italic to Roman, write Rom. opposite.

To change a word from small letters to small capitals, make two lines under the word, and write sm. caps, opposite. To change a word from small capitals to small letters make one line under the word, and write in the margin lo. ca. for lower case.

Where the compositor has left an out, which is too long to be copied in the margin of the proof, make a [[c:caret|caret]] at the place, and write opposite, Out, see Copy.

Specimen correction with correction markings
Proof Specimen showing correction markings Enlarge

The specimen when corrected would be as follows.

Corrected Specimen
Specimen after the corrections were made

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