Editorial terms – M

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macro: a section of computer code, created by recording and/or programming, that performs an editorial task within an application such as Microsoft Word. Macros perform a range of tasks, including: running a series of Find and Replace operations to ‘clean up’ a document; providing shortcut devices to speed up copyediting; and analysing a whole book to highlight potential inconsistencies of spelling, hyphenation or punctuation, or variations in proper nouns.

Maggie (v): to copy everything except the final pilcrow into a fresh Word document to escape repeated crashes or failures. Named after the late Maggie Secara, writer and editor.

marginal mark: in proofreading, the mark in the margin of a hard-copy manuscript that instructs the typesetter what correction to make at the corresponding textual mark.

markup (n): the signs and text that indicate amendments to be made; can be done on hard copy or on a digital file. See also mark up.

mark up (v): adding signs and text to copy/a proof in order to indicate amendments to be made. See also markup.

maximum capitalisation: a style of capitalisation applied to headings, captions and other features. In this style, all significant words are capitalised, and often articles, prepositions and coordinating conjunctions are lower case, but this varies. It is also called title case or initial capitals.

metadata: data about data. Metadata about an image might list its size, resolution, date of capture, and so on. On the internet meta tags describe different elements of a web page, and these are used by search engines when creating rankings.

minimum capitalisation: a style of capitalisation applied to headings, captions and other features. In this style, only the first word and any proper nouns are capitalised, all other words being lower case. It is also called sentence case or essential capitals.

modify/modifier: in grammar, a word, phrase or clause that functions as an adjective or adverb to provide further information about another word or word group. In addition to adjectives, words such as ‘only’ and ‘either’ also modify the subject, noun or pronoun they precede. It is therefore important for the sense of the text to place them in the correct position in the phrase.