30 things I learned at #SfEP2019

  1. I need to concede my “SfEP’s Sweariest Speaker” crown to Chris Brookmyre.
  2. Most editors are not brilliant at knowing the first lines of pop songs. Which meant our team won chocolate.
  3. If you’d like to get a cheap laugh, name your quiz team “Kevin”.
  4. It in fact was possible to love Emma Darwin more than I already did.
  5. My children might respond to my attempts to correct their English with “Mate, it’s just non-standard”. Well, if I’ve brought them up right.
  6. Speed networking is some hardcore shit. All I did was yell at people to change seats and I was exhausted.
  7. Also, one-minute warnings are useless if everyone’s speed-networking too hard to pay any attention to you.
  8. Failure is good, and everybody does it. Listening to other people’s tales of failure and coming back from it is reassuring and inspiring.
  9. Emoji use is already past its peak, and David Crystal wonders if in a few years we’ll be on to the next thing.
  10. The biggest Primark in the world is insanely huge, and does not sell flip flops out of season.
  11. You should try on your dress before you pack it. Ten minutes before a three-course meal is not a good time to discover you can no longer breathe in it.
  12. A spurtle is a stick you stir porridge with.
  13. Rights and Permissions Manager at a large publishing company is absolutely a job I never want to do.
  14. Because you need to do things like get permission from buildings to publish photographs of them. (Or someone who works on behalf of the building, I imagine. Not the actual building.)
  15. I did a lightning talk (I did not. This is a very specific in-joke that precisely three people will get).
  16. Speakers should probably Google any celebrity they aren’t familiar with but are mentioning in their talks, just to make sure they’re not currently facing charges for sex crimes.
  17. People are absolutely awful at remembering to use microphones to ask questions in sessions. (In amongst all my usual flippancy, this is a really serious point. People have hearing problems, and accessibility is not an optional extra.)
  18. The SfEP is about to become the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading! But something has to happen to some vellum or something first.
  19. You can put chilli in everything if you really want it bad enough.
  20. Writing a book is a painful process. Editing can be even more so, and there is a lot editors can do to make that worse or better for their authors.
  21. Only Jacob Rees-Mogg talks in semicolons.
  22. You’re only allowed 15 “fucks” in a BBC 3 radio play.
  23. When you chat to someone online nearly every day, it’s really weird when you sit down together and work out you’ve actually only met once, two years ago.
  24. A good editor is a detective, a spy, a linguist, and a sound mixer.
  25. Welsh is really old.
  26. Tiny changes to the way you think about and respond to things can make a big difference to your working practice, and therefore your life.
  27. Also, Liz Jones makes one hell of a beautiful PowerPoint slideshow
  28. Riffat Yusuf is absolutely the person to call should you need hilarious editing-related lyrics set to the tune of “He who would valiant be”.
  29. I spend waaaaay too much time online, judging by the number of times the response to my introducing myself was “Oh, I know you from Twitter!”
  30. Editors are still absolutely the best people. Thanks for a wonderful few days. I’ll see you all in Milton Keynes for hashtag SfEP2020 actual lol!

1 thought on “30 things I learned at #SfEP2019”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s