Stet: (usu. as an instruction written on a proof-sheet, etc) Let the original form stand.


Perfidy:  A deliberate breach of faith; calculated violation of trust; treachery.

I love it when friends give me new words; there is no more thoughtful gift. Arrived recently by email perfidy, a word I have vague recollections of reading in Shakespeare, but have never, ever used. It was like receiving a posie, something to put in a vase and admire, and think warm thoughts about the sender.

My friend then suggested a book, a great favourite of hers, one which will have to go on the unread pile as I’ve just begun the Big Edit of Harbour View.  In a classic case of perfidy towards the books awaiting my eyeballs, the only reading I’ll have the brains for in the next while is Hello! magazine and  the grocery flyers.

But what fun I’m having! It’s not unlike a dance, as my editor and I toss ideas back and forth. J sends me his suggestions, and either I see straightaway what he’s getting at and with a smack to my forehead I make the change in the text, or I try to convince him he ought to reconsider his position, which opens up a lively discussion until we reach a meeting of the minds. I even used the word stet, another word I have never, ever used, which was its own quiet, if outdated, thrill. I’ve been waiting my whole writing life to say it.

As J and I go along we find new details to attend to, but we’re getting there. I’ll be sorry when it’s over, but then I’ll have time to come up with a better use for perfidy.

Categories: General.