A Red-Letter Day

editing reference books

Today is a red-letter day! Today there are not one but two special celebrations going on that are close to my heart. March 8 is both National Proofreading Day and International Women’s Day.

If that’s not the perfect combination for this female copy editor and proofreader, I don’t know what is.

Of course I have to make a fuss about National Proofreading Day since it’s likely to get less of the spotlight today. I believe there’s also something in the International Code of Editors* about editors being morally obligated to celebrate days like this one (like National Grammar Day just this past Saturday). So, besides spending the bulk of my day actually proofreading (check!), I plan to hobnob with fellow editors online and IRL and let them know I think what they’re doing is pretty great. Yay for the people who are specially hardwired for this type of work. It’s not everyone who has the interest or ability to proofread. Represent!

More seriously, International Women’s Day is a big deal. Editing’s an important part of who I am, but more important to me is who I am as a woman. I’m proud to be a woman and proud to be a feminist.

In the U.S., where I live, we’re taking steps backward in our treatment of women. I’m both grateful for the recognition, rights, and freedoms I do have in my country and incredibly adamant that these aren’t lost or minimized—and I want to see all women everywhere treated with equality. We still have a long way to go both in the U.S. and around the world.

There are lots of small things I do to keep this cause close, including many that dovetail with my work with words. I read writing by women. I look for and value their stories. I have conversations—lots of conversations—even when they’re hard. And I think my work as a woman-owned business is important, including supporting other woman-owned businesses. I’m sure there are important choices you make for this cause, too. Let me know about them in the comments so we can take these actions together!

I wasn’t able to participate today in A Day Without a Woman, but I’ve been following along online with interest. I love seeing all those who have turned out to show support for human rights, many of them wearing red. It’s a red-letter day** indeed!

What are you doing to celebrate today?

Kelsey Mitchener, editor

* I just made that up—but someone needs to get working on it.

** I love the etymology behind this phrase.


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